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High Court to Hear Case on Generic Drug Liability

(CN) - The Supreme Court said it would review a dispute over generic drug manufacturers' failure to warn consumers about harmful side effect associated with their products.

Late Friday, the high court consolidated cases involving two women who developed tardive dyskinesia, a neurological disorder, after taking generic versions of Reglan, a Wyeth name-brand drug.

The women, Gladys Mensing and Julie, claim that the drugs are more dangerous than their labels indicate.

Federal appeals courts found that the women could sue units of Mylan, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Actavis.

The hearing will mark a follow-up to the court's 2009 ruling in Wyeth v. Levine, in which the justices found patients were not barred under federal law from filing state-law tort claims against drug makers. Diana Levine sued Wyeth after insufficient warning labels on the anti-nausea drug Phenergan led to the amputation of her right forearm.

That ruling did not address generic drug manufacturers, who argued on appeal that the lawsuits raise marketing hardships that brand-name drug makers do not face.

The cases that the Supreme Court consolidated are PLIVA Inc. v. Mensing (09-993), Actavis v. Mensing (09-1039) and Actavis v. Demahy (09-1501).

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