Supreme Court to decide on Warner-Lambert case

WASHINGTON The Supreme Court said this week that it will decide on a case that involves whether federal regulation of pharmaceuticals preempts state law.

The case involves the drug Rezulin, a diabetes drug. A group of Michigan plaintiffs in April 2000 sued Warner-Lambert, a unit of Pfizer. The Food and Drug Administration removed the drug from the market in March 2000, after it was linked to nearly 400 deaths and hundreds of cases of liver failure.

A federal district court dismissed the suit after it was cited that Michigan law shields FDA approved pharmaceuticals from liability lawsuits. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New York, reinstated the suit disagreeing that the Michigan law involved an exception of fraud against the FDA.

The case will likely be decided before the court adjourns in June.

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