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At the Supremes: Pharma wins, Anna Nicole’s estate loses

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down six opinions this morning – including two big wins for pharmaceutical companies, and a loss for the estate of Anna Nicole Smith.

In PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, the Court held that federal regulations governing generic drugs directly conflict with, and thus preempt, state law failure-to-warn claims.

In Sorrell v. IMS, the Court ruled that Vermont’s Prescription Confidentiality Law, which restricts access to information in nonpublic prescription drug records and affords prescribers the right to consent before their identifying information in prescription drug records is sold or used in marketing runs, violates the First Amendment under a heightened scrutiny standard.

In a complex ruling in the case Stern v. Marshall, the Court held that bankruptcy court did not have constitutional authority to award Smith hundreds of millions of dollars in damages on a counterclaim against the estate of her late husband, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II.

More on these cases and today’s other rulings on the Confrontation Clause, FELA causation standards and federal sentence reductions after plea deals to come on Lawyers USA online.

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