Tomorrow’s JAMA contains an editorial entitled, "Prescription Drugs, Products Liability, and Preemption of Tort Litigation" (subscription) by Catherine D. DeAngelis; Phil B. Fontanarosa (JAMA. 2008;300(16):1939-1941 (doi:10.1001/jama.2008.513)).
Suffice it to say, the premise that tort litigation safeguards patient health is faulty. Ensuring patient access to innovative and needed medical options is essential. See Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., 128 S. Ct. 999, 1009 (2009) (discussing the express preemption statute for medical devices and stating, "the text of the statute – suggests that the solicitude for those injured by FDA-approved devices, which the dissent finds controlling, was overcome in Congress’s estimation by solicitude for those who would suffer without new medical devices if juries were allowed to apply the tort law of 50 States to all innovations.").