The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that a man who suffered serious health problems after taking a generic version of the drug Reglan can file a lawsuit against the company that developed the drug. Although the ruling only applies to the state of Alabama, legal experts believe the case could have national implications for patients who have filed lawsuits after being hurt by generic drugs.
In the Alabama case, the plaintiff, Danny Weeks, claimed that he had developed a movement disorder known as tardive dyskinesia after taking generic versions of Reglan to treat his acid reflux. Mr. Weeks sued Actavis and Teva, the generic companies that made the drugs he took, as well as Wyeth, which developed the drug, for failing to adequately warn about Reglan’s risks.
In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration required all manufacturers of metoclopramide, the generic name for Reglan, to place stronger warnings on their labels detailing a link between long-term use of the drug and tardive dyskinesia. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed by patients who claim that Wyeth failed to properly warn about Reglan’s risks.