The other day I was having lunch with a friend who was lamenting that he needed an idea for his next screenplay. This friend usually writes romantic comedies, so I thought, I’ve got a great idea for his next film. It’s called, “The U.S. Supreme Court Is In Love With the Pharmaceutical Industry.”
Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision, allowing the makers of certain unsafe medical devices to get away with implanting them in people without legal accountability, was clearly Valentine gift (a few days belated) to drug companies - and there’s more to come!
And what's not to love? It's an obscenely wealthy industry that has all the Viagra and Cialis it wants.
But like my last relationship, they make a badly matched couple. And like a good friend sitting you down and saying, "what were you thinking?" it is going to take an intervention by the U.S. Congress to break up this love affair.
That's right, Congress can (and hopefully will) step in using that old system of checks and balances we learned about in civics class, and end this terribly destructive relationship. Luckily, key members of Congress seem ready to step in, according to the New York Times Senator Edward M Kennedy (D-Mass) said,
"In enacting legislation on medical devices, Congress never intended that F.D.A. approval would give blanket immunity to manufacturers from liability for injuries caused by faulty devices ...Congress obviously needs to correct the court's decision."
And Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) said,
"The Supreme Court's decision strips consumers of the rights they've had for decades... This isn't what Congress intended, and we'll pass legislation as quickly as possible to fix this nonsensical situation."
So, I don't know if this story will be next summer's box office blockbuster, but regardless, it’s a relationship that Congress needs to do something about – before people get hurt!