Mind boggling. That is the only way to describe it. The courts are debating giving them a shield against lawsuits. The premise is that no agency nor court has enough expertise to disagree with the FDA, and therefore no lawsuits should be able to be brought against the pharmaceutical companies because the FDA already made their ruling on whether the drug was safe. So far, that sounds extremely reasonable. It keeps the courts from being clogged with ludicrous cases and saves these companies money which could, in theory, lead to lower drug prices.
But wait! There seems to be no protection against a company misleading the FDA. The company still cannot be sued. The Vioxx debacle and the Ortho Evra issues are going to be reoccurring situations from now on if this shield law takes effect. In essence, we have incentivized lying to the FDA. Without the "stick" of lawsuits to keep these companies honest, what is there? Drugs will be released to market, turn a profit for the company, and then some outside researchers will show that the drugs raise the risk of some ailment. The pharmaceutical company knew this as well but they suppressed the data. Too bad, there is no recourse for the injured consumer. I pray for the sake of America's health that the courts rule against these shields.