Everyone loves a winner, but who are they? Let us help you figure it out. Each Friday, we will provide a quick rundown of individuals or companies that accomplished something worth noting. But to be fair, we will also point out those who, well, had a rough time. And if you have a nomination, send us a note. We would not want anyone to feel left out, even the losers.
Consumers: A federal court jury ordered GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 million to the widow of an attorney who committed suicide after taking a generic version of its Paxil antidepressant. This is significant because consumers have almost always failed to successfully sue a brand-name drug maker if they claim to have suffered harm after taking a pill made by a generic company. Federal regulations do not allow generic companies to independently change product labeling after learning of potential risks, unless such a change has already been made to the corresponding brand-name drug. The regulation was upheld six years ago in US Supreme Court ruling. Admittedly, it is premature to call this verdict a game changer. Glaxo will appeal and the decision only applies to one state. But if the appeal flops, the outcome it could sway other courts to allow consumers to sue brand-name drug makers.