Friday, December 07, 2007

Senate Dems on the need to repeal drug immunity

First of all, very nice production quality on this YouTube! And Whitmer too! :-) OK, on to the issue...

Senate Democrats pointed out the other day that the letter from Merck saying the Michigan residents could participate in the Vioxx settlement was a "misleading corporate cover-up" of the real facts behind Michigan's drug company immunity laws. Here is Senator John Gleason-

“Merck has been dishonest, deceptive and downright unethical throughout the scrutiny of Vioxx and its review process, and it took a court ruling for them to acknowledge their error in endangering millions of people,” said Gleason. “Now they’re using smoke and mirrors again to diffuse the call to end Michigan’s drug immunity laws by pointing at a handful of Vioxx victims who thought to pursue legal action out of state and continuing to ignore those who didn’t.”

In a letter issued yesterday, Merck asserts that victims with claims will be able to collect. Last month, Merck announced a $5 billion nation-wide settlement with patients who suffered strokes or heart attacks as a result of taking Vioxx. According to yesterday’s letter, Michigan victims who “had suits pending at the date of the agreement are eligible to participate on the same basis…” However, only victims who had filed a claim by the time of the settlement can collect, and Michigan residents were prevented from filing suit because our drug industry immunity law prohibited their claims. As a result, Michigan victims are locked out of the settlement.

And the response from the Senate Republicans? Somewhere along the equivalent of "just die already". Here is Chatty Matty in MIRS-

"This is just another gimmick by the Democrats to push their pet project of the week," Marsden said. "It's grown tiresome."

Yes, don't bother the Senate Republicans with your sick or dead relatives. They have Big Pharma to protect, you know. Much more important than getting rid of some ridiculous one-of-a-kind law that punishes you just for living in Michigan. What were you thinking, anyway?