Although a lot of politicians have economic stimulus
on the brain right now, jump-starting our stalled economy shouldn't
come at the expense of consumers' rights. Which would be exactly what
Georgia would be doing to its citizens should a recent piece of
legislation get passed.
Senate Bill 101 introduced last week and endorsed by Governor Sonny Purdue would "limit liability for certain drug and medical device manufacturers and sellers." Which is merely a nice way of saying that a company that markets an unsafe drug or device should be given complete immunity for causing deaths or injuries, as long as the FDA approved the product. This law supposes that the FDA is both capable and willing to ensure the safety of all products it regulates – which many including those within the FDA itself doubt. Ah, peanuts anyone?
Regardless we have seen time and time again how lawsuits have dissuaded companies from continuing to market an unsafe product. And lawsuits have also had a tremendously beneficial role spurring medical research and alerting the public – and ultimately pressuring regulators – to act on larger health risks and problems.
Thankfully there are groups like Georgia Watch an organization dedicated to improving consumer protections for Georgia families who are staying on top of this issue. Georgia Watch Executive Director Allison Wall said of the legislation,
"Essentially, this is a desperate bid for new biotech business at the expense of our legal rights," said Wall. "That's a dangerous gamble for the Governor, risking the health and safety of Georgians against the interests of corporations."