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Reglan Preemption Victory

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court shot down generic Reglan manufacturers and the maker of Reglan’s request to flip the trial court’s decision to deny their preemption summary judgment motion.

Reglan is used to treat short-term heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is also used to speed up gastric emptying in diabetes patients. Because the drug is a dopamine antagonist, it increases lower esophageal sphincter pressure.

The problem with Reglan – plaintiffs allege – is that it causes tardive dyskinesia, an often irreversible and just plain awful neurological disorder with symptoms that include involuntary grimacing, protrusion of the tongue, lip-smacking, rapid eye blinking, and movement of the extremities. There is no treatment for this disorder.

Anyway, the trial court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment because the defendants did not show that the law would recognize none of the causes of action asserted by the plaintiffs.

I don’t think this means all or even any Reglan cases will make it past preemption. I think it means that it is still too soon to call what effect preemption will have on these claims.