Average Joe SCOTUS – Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Albrecht

MS&D, affectionately known as Merck, developed a drug for postmenopausal women called Fosamax. It was designed to prevent osteoporosis.

Here’s the thing with Fosamax, it has certain risks for femur stress fractures. Several women experienced this, and sued Merck.

Merck was aware of the issue, and had previously notified the FDA that their shit might cause a problem here and there. However, the FDA looked over the evidence, and didn’t feel it warranted a warning, and told Merck, “Don’t worry about, bro. Leave the label as it is.”

It wasn’t that the FDA said, “Don’t do it or else, motherfucker.” But they gave Merck reason to believe they’d reject a change to the label if Merck put it on there.

So Merck left the label with no warning for this problem, and crossed their fingers.

The lawsuit was based on a state law that requires drug companies to warn people about this kind of shit. But, Merck was complying with the FDA, which is a federal regulator. So Merck was all like, “WTF, man? Can you motherfuckers short this shit out and get back to us?”

Sort it out SCOTUS did. They told the state, and these women with the fucked up femurs to go kick rocks. If the FDA says leave the label as it is, that’s the law of the land, motherfuckers! Federal government for life!

All nine justices in favor or Merck.

Hear oral arguments or read about the case here.


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