When In Doubt, Write Your Doctor A Letter

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"Dear Doctor" letters were front and center in the recently tried case of Tietz v. Abbott Laboratories Inc., et al., No. 12-L-002715. On Thursday, May 9, 2013, a Chicago jury returned a $2.2 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff who alleged his wife was injured by Abbott’s failure to adequately warn of risks related to its arthritis drug, Humira.

The verdict has significant implications for the future of failure to-warn litigation involving prescription drugs. Tietz has opened the door to the argument that a drug manufacturer has a duty to send a "Dear Doctor" letter to provide new drug warnings before the letter is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, despite regulations and guidance that arguably require such approval.

Originally published in Law 360 on June 7, 2013.

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