Sometimes our weekly searches for what is going on in the drug and device world lead as outside the traditional products liability context that is our bread and butter.  Occasionally that can be refreshing – a break from preemption and causation and TwIqbal.  It’s also interesting to see how things like off-label use come

On Monday, Bexis, laboring on Labor Day, blogged about a kooky Ohio decision ordering the off-label administration of an animal drug, ivermectin, to a seriously ill COVID-19 patient over the objections of that patient’s treating physicians and of the hospital in which the patient was being treated. The decision was kooky both medically and legally.

We’ve read recently about a court taking the unprecedented step of ordering the off-label administration of an animal drug, ivermectin, to a seriously ill COVID-19 patient over the objections of that patient’s treating physicians and of the hospital in which the patient was being treated.

Off-label use is something we know a little bit about. 

Today we discuss Sherrod v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 2021 Tenn. Cir. LEXIS 74 (Tenn. Cir. Ct. 2021), a recent Tennessee trial court decision granting the defendant device manufacturer summary judgment on preemption grounds. Notwithstanding one quibble, there is much to like about the decision.

The plaintiff, who asserted a plethora of product-liability and

Nearly six years ago, in 2015, the FDA attempted to slip a change to its “intended use” regulations (21 C.F.R. §§201.128, 801.4) – which had not been updated since the 1950s – through the administrative process by hiding it in a Federal Register notice about electronic cigarettes.  80 Fed. Reg. 57756 (FDA Sept. 25, 2015). 

With apologies, this time, to Sir Paul − “The circuit judge, who held a grudge, has put the FDA’s banned on the run. . . .”

That’s just about what happened in Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, Inc. v. United States FDA, ___ F.4th ___, 2021 WL 2799891 (D.C. Cir. July 6, 2021) (note the

The United States Supreme Court in Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs Legal Committee, 531 U.S. 341 (2001), determined that “off-label usage” is “accepted and necessary” by both the FDA and the medical community.  Id. at 350.  Thus, “[p]hysicians may prescribe drugs and devices for off-label uses.”  Id. at 351 n.5 (citation and quotation marks omitted). 

Back in 1998, Bexis published the first major law review article about off-label use of drugs and medical devices and tort liability, James Beck & Elizabeth Azari, “FDA, Off-Label Use, & Informed Consent:  Debunking Myths & Misconceptions,” 53 Food & Drug L.J. 71 (1998).  This article came to be cited twice by the United States

A long time ago in a law school relatively far away, we took torts as a first year law student.  Many of the cases about which we learned (or were supposed to have learned) were from even longer ago and we had no idea how much some of those old cases would inform our practice.