Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Are juries too stupid to judge technical drug safety cases?

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Mar• 09•09

Yes,  Dr. Peter Schuck (Professor, Yale Law School):

  • juries in different states make different decisions on the same drug–hardly a recipe for the uniformity and predictability to which manufacturers should be entitled. A jury’s flaws are inherent in its design. In contrast, the FDA’s flaws–and they are many–can at least be remedied by Congress, to which it is highly accountable.

No, Merrill Goozner (Journalist, GoozNews):

  • “The jury system may be an imperfect solution to this flawed regulatory system, but sometimes it is the only option…the FDA over many decades has been denied the resources it needs to do its job properly. In the past decade, it has been run by political appointees like former drug industry counsel Dan Troy, who nakedly used public office to advance the interests of his former clients. When regulation fails, the states’ civil justice system — including the right to a jury trial — remains a vital backstop.”

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