TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Edwards on Malpractice Reform, Pharmaceutical Marketing

John Edwards issued a fact sheet [PDF] today addressing a number of aspects of health care, including malpractice reform.  Some excerpts:

While patients injured by their doctors’ negligence deserve fair compensation, frivolous
malpractice suits benefit no one. John Edwards will reduce the cost of practicing medicine with common-sense reforms that help doctors and patients:

• Stop Frivolous Lawsuits: To discourage frivolous suits, Edwards will require lawyers
to have an expert testify that actual malpractice has occurred before bringing a suit.
There will be mandatory sanctions for lawyers who file frivolous cases, and any lawyer
who files three frivolous cases will be forbidden from bringing another suit for the next
10 years.

• Create Competition Among Insurers: To reduce malpractice insurance premiums for
doctors, Edwards will revisit the insurance company exception to the nation’s antitrust
laws. . . .

• Reduce Malpractice: Only 5 percent of doctors have paid malpractice claims more than
once since 1990. This same 5 percent are responsible for over half of all claims paid.
Edwards will give resources and incentives to state medical boards for more responsible
discipline. He will also create a knowledge bank that encourages doctors to report
medical errors voluntarily, making other caregivers and hospitals aware of preventable

He also discusses pharmaceuticals some.  Excerpts:

• Prevent Misleading Drug Advertisements: Pharmaceutical ads have become a multibillion
dollar industry, with America’s seven largest drug manufacturers spending more
than twice as much on marketing, advertising and administration than they do on research
and development. Edwards believes we must ensure that advertising does not
unnecessarily drive up costs for consumers. Edwards’ plan will require new restrictions
on drug advertisements to ensure that they provide the whole truth to the public about
drug side-effects and efficacy compared to placebos and cheaper alternatives. As a
result, drug companies will no longer be able to advertise costly me-too drugs without
disclosing the existence of less costly, equally effective alternatives. Edwards will also
double FDA resources dedicated to enforcing direct-to-consumer advertisement rules,
repeal federal rules that unnecessarily slow down action on misleading drug
advertisements, grant FDA authority to levy civil fines after due process for violation of
federal advertising rules, and require independent, head-to-head testing of drugs as a
condition of FDA approval.

* * *

• Protect Patients Against Dangerous Medicines: When the arthritis drug Vioxx
was withdrawn from worldwide markets in 2004 due to concerns it may cause adverse
cardiac events, it raised serious concerns about drug safety in the United States. Edwards
will help protect the public by:

o Restricting direct-to-consumer advertising for new drugs to ensure that
consumers are not misled about the potential dangers of newly marketed

o Strengthen the FDA’s ability to monitor new drugs after they reach the
marketplace. He will also ensure that researchers evaluating medical devices
and drugs are truly independent.

(In case anyone thinks it's relevant, I gave Edwards some money in 2004 and may do so again this cycle.)

Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink

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» More Guts than a Government Mule from Health Care BS
This produced a coffee-spewing LOL when I saw it. John Edwards wants to help with malpractice reform? Well …. ah …. only Nixon could go to China, right?Some blawgs, like TortsProf are pretty sanguine about Edwards new religion. Other law bloggers,... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 14, 2007 1:46:56 PM

» Edwards on malpractice from PointOfLaw Forum
Speaking of faux medical malpractice reform and North Carolina, on Thursday trial lawyer and presidential candidate John Edwards pretends he's in favor of reform by proposing do-nothing measures:• Stop Frivolous Lawsuits: To discourage frivolous suits,... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 14, 2007 9:53:14 PM


You left out the part about abolishing pharmaceutical patents.

Posted by: KipEsquire | Jun 14, 2007 2:50:36 PM

Check the name of the blog. I do teach Patent Law, but write here about Torts. So I didn't leave it out in any sense that I should have included it; I left it out because it's not about Torts.

Posted by: Bill Childs | Jun 14, 2007 3:00:58 PM

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