Under Governor John Engler, Michigan passed a one-of-a-kind law that prevents individuals from suing the manufacturers of dangerous drugs in almost all situations. Governor Engler’s reward for passing that legislation was a cush job as the head of the National Association of Manufacturers. (NAM) NAM and the pharmaceutical industry think that Michigan’s law is a good thing and are pushing for similar laws to be enacted nationwide.
Luckily for injured Michigan citizens, lawsuits over Digitek aren’t blocked because the defects in Digitek were manufacturing errors and not design errors:
Digitek(R), the trade name for the drug in question, is the brand name for digitalis, a drug given to heart patients. During the manufacturing process, errors were made such that the .125 mg labeled tablet was actually .250 mg; and, the tablet sold as .25 mg was actually .50 mg. This manufacturing error is not covered by the broad grant of immunity Governor Engler intended when Michigan’s drug manufacturer immunity legislation was adopted during the Engler Administration.
Death from ventricular arrhythmia, or heart block, can result from digitalis overdose. Non-fatal complications can include nausea, vomiting, severe weight loss, diarrhea, mental confusion, vision changes and elevated blood pressure, which can lead to cerebral strokes.
It’s too bad that Engler decided to put pharmaceutical profits ahead of patient safety. At least in this instance, the Michigan courts will have an opportunity to provide justice to injured Michigan citizens.
Here’s some more information about Digitek / Digoxin to consider.