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Michigan’s drug industry immunity law has been the focus of much criticism in this space and elsewhere in the media. Under Michigan law, drug manufacturers cannot be sued in Michigan for injuries caused by drugs that have been approved by the FDA. As a result, massive pharmaceutical companies cannot be held accountable in this state for producing unsafe products.

Recently, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a measure that would remove this formidable shield and allow injured victims to have their day in court. The leaders of the Republican-controlled Michigan Senate, however, have vowed to prevent a vote on the bill. Senator Alan Cropsey (who represents much of the Mid-Michigan region) is among those who want to delay or block a vote.

Senator Cropsey’s position is especially puzzling in light of his statements regarding the current law. In a 2003 edition of the Washington Monthly, he described the drug industry shield as "horrible[.]" The Senator called the law "a way of protecting companies from their own behavior" and "a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card.’" However, Senator Cropsey has chosen to follow the party line rather than strike a blow for consumer protection.

Drug industry immunity in Michigan has prevented injured citizens from seeking justice in court. Contact your State Senator and ask them to remove this cloak of protection and to hold corporations accountable for the harm they cause.


  1. Gravatar for Justice in Michigan
    Justice in Michigan

    This is obviously bad news for the citizens of Michigan and a betrayal by one of their champions.

    At this point, one can only hope that the immediacy of procedural matters and external pressures are the best explanation.

    To me, at least, it suggests that it may only be the 2010 state elections in which our citizens have a direct chance to learn about the issues and where their particular Senators and Representatives stand. If it comes to cleaning house, let the brooms begin.

  2. Gravatar for Steve Lombardi

    The effect of drug immunity is to shift costs from treating bad drug reactions to the patient or consumer. When patients become aware they will not be allowed to sue the pharmaceutical companies, those who don't have the right insurance coverage will be forced to sue the doctor that prescribed the drugs or the pharmacy or the hospital system. All of this immunity and so called tort reform is simply a way of shifting costs back to the patient or some other medical professional. Drug companies that aren't required to take responsibility for bad drugs have no disincentive to do otherwise. What immunity does is make the situation worse, because it removes responsibility. It’s interesting to me that tort reformers talk about patient responsibility, but that’s exactly what immunity does for the companies making drugs, they walk away from responsibility and during the next stock holders meeting award themselves a huge bonus with all they are saving. Meanwhile those patients who have heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease or suffer liver damage from taking these drugs that are said to be safe, live a new life with a partially dead brain, an inability to walk more than a few hundred feet or with a daily visit to the dialysis center. Patients get screwed and pharmaceutical company CEO’s get a big fat bonus, maybe a new mansion, some get a new jet and vacations on the French Riviera. Fair or foul? You be the judge.

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