How Healthy Is The Federal Preemption Defense?

Law360 (April 30, 2009, 12:00 AM EDT) -- The doctrine of federal preemption is rooted in the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause which states that the laws of the United States “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” After the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent 6-3 decision in Wyeth v. Levine, 129 S. Ct. 1187, 173 L.Ed.2d 51 (2009) on March 4, 2009, however, it appeared that the doctrine of federal preemption was dealt a serious blow.

In Levine, the Supreme Court ruled that federal law did not preempt state law claims against pharmaceutical maker Wyeth for insufficient drug safety warnings on its drug Phenergan.

After Levine, drug manufacturers found...

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