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Lansing, Michigan

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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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Michigan People Lose Out Again to Drug Companies

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Across the country, pharmaceutical companies are getting hit with huge fines and penalties for making and selling defective drugs. These penalties mean state treasuries are getting repaid for health benefits paid to injured people, and the innocent victims themselves are receiving compensation.

But not in Michigan.

For 15 years, drug makers have enjoyed complete immunity from legal liability in Michigan. As long as a drug is FDA approved, the manufacturer cannot be held accountable in our state for any harm the drug causes. This means that ordinary Michigan residents who take a medication they’re told is safe can’t be compensated when it turns out the drug has horrible side effects. The State of Michigan, which pays millions of dollars in medical benefits to help these injured people, can’t be reimbursed by the manufacturer, either.

The people of Michigan have been harmed by drug industry immunity for years now, and it looks like our lawmakers are finally noticing now that they realize it’s costing the state money. Within the last two weeks, a bipartisan agreement was reached that, if passed, would require Michigan’s Attorney General to report the amount of money lost by Michigan residents from not being able to participate in the action lawsuits against negligent pharmaceutical companies. Bills to repeal the drug industry immunity law have been introduced in the State Senate and State House of Representatives.

Now is the time to end drug industry immunity in Michigan. This law – the only one of its kind in the nation – is costing taxpayers millions of dollars every year. Contact your State Senator and State Representative and tell them drug companies should be held accountable for their mistakes, just like everyone else.

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  1. Dr. Henry Greenspan says:
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    Thanks for the good piece, David. Yes, we need to hold every Michigan lawmaker accountable for their position on our unique drug industry immunity statute. It rests on assumptions that have been definitively rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, the most respected voices in American medicine, people of principle from both parties, and by the FDA itself.

    Readers may be interested to learn that ALEC, the notorious “think tank” that writes “Stand Your Ground” and voter suppression laws for state legislators on their “friends” list, has also written a number of statutes modeled on Michigan’s drug immunity law to be introduced in other states. To this point, such statutes have been rejected wherever they have been proposed–often with undisguised revulsion from both Republicans and Democrats.

    These states were helped make the right decision because they came to learn about our terrible experiences under drug industry immunity in Michigan. Many people are ready to come help us overturn, once and for all, our unjust and increasingly costly and unsustainable law.

    The time is now.