In a setback to the pharmaceutical industry, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided that consumers who claim harm from a generic medicine can sue brand-name drug makers for intentionally failing to update warnings that generic companies are obligated to place on product labeling.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by a man who charged that he suffered side effects, notably sexual dysfunction, after taking a generic version of Proscar, a Merck (MRK) drug used to treat enlarged prostates. And he maintained that two years before he took the generic, which was sold by Mylan (MYL), Merck changed Proscar labeling in other countries to warn about persistent erectile dysfunction, but had not done so in the U.S.

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