Making it easier to sue drug and medical-device manufacturers won’t help patients, contrary to what Milton Younger claims in a recent Community Voices article (“Put FDA back to work for consumers,” April 21). Instead, such federal legislation would unleash a torrent of meritless state lawsuits to the detriment of public health.
Medical companies facing constant lawsuits would be forced to raise prices for products already on the market and divert financial resources from research and development. Patients would be burdened with yet higher health care costs for existing treatments, while those hoping for new life-saving medicines and procedures would wait in vain.
Personal injury lawyers such as Younger would profit handsomely from the proposed federal legislation and expansion of our lawsuit-happy culture. They already do. Most multimillion-dollar payoffs end up in attorneys’ pockets, while less than 15 cents of every tort-cost dollar goes to compensate victims.
LAWRENCE J. McQUILLAN
Director, Business and Economic Studies,
Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy