The Fretts Perspective

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Pay Attention to the Hands

On May 10, 2012, Our Congressman voted for H.R.5652, Sequester Replacement Act of 2012 (House Roll Call #247). Tucked inside this bill were provisions to, believe it or not, absolve medical product manufacturers and distributors of any punitive damages for any wrongful harm if the product was approved by the FDA. The text is found in a section entitled "No Punitive Damages for Products That Comply With FDA Standards." It appears the Congressman does in fact, despite his rhetoric, have great faith in the ability of the federal government to control the healthcare industry.

Look no further than this week's national headlines, where yet another multi-billion dollar medical corporation conceded a multi-billion dollar criminal and civil settlement for harm (up to and including death) caused over many years by its (FDA-approved) asthma treatment. Expect this sort of trend to accelerate now that Big Pharma is on the fast track to ill-gotten fortune; that is, as soon as they realize that they need only get one foot in the (revolving) door at the FDA, and their product instantly becomes liability free.

To state this one more time, in most plain terms: when medical corporations create harmful products and get them approved by the FDA - even if that product kills you or a loved one, and even if they are completely at fault - they can no longer be sued for punitive damages.

In short, Our Congressman is an unapologetic enabler of malfeasance; and it is time to rid the Congress of malfeasance. Politicians often speak in the manner they believe their constituents wish to hear - for example, being critical of big government - but pay attention to the hands.