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Pfizer and Glaxo deemed not liable for lawsuits


NEWARK, N.J. Pfizer Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline Pic, won an appeals court decision that did not make them liable in lawsuits that accused the companies of having inadequate warning labels for antidepressants, according to published reports.

Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s two biggest drug makers, are facing thousands of lawsuits that claim that the companies failed to provide warnings of side effects of the drugs by hiding or altering data to be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, according to published reports.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stated that Pfizer who makes antidepressant Zoloft, and Glaxo which makes Paxil, cannot be sued for suicides blamed on their drugs. According to published reports, they feel that the FDA’s review of their drugs and its labeling makes the lawsuits invalid, giving companies no liability for damages due to a drug.

When the scientific risks of these drugs were presented in front of the court, Judge Dolores Sloviter stated that, “We are not scientists and we do not purport to have any expertise on that issue. That is within the FDA's authority.''

According to published reports, lower courts have allowed for patients to make these claims against the drug makers, and the issue will be confronted by the U.S. Supreme Court, in its review of another lawsuit from Diana Levine, who lost her arm when she was injected with Wyeth’s anti-nausea drug Phenergan

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