In recent days, we at CFIF have marked the ignominious one-year anniversary of the Biden Administration…
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Drug Price Controls: On 9/13, Let's End the Indefensible 9-13 Small Molecule/Large Molecule Protection Disparity

In recent days, we at CFIF have marked the ignominious one-year anniversary of the Biden Administration's misnamed "Inflation Reduction Act" (IRA) by noting its particularly negative impact on pharmaceutical innovation and, in turn, the nation's health and wellbeing.

As acknowledged by the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security  as well as groups like the American Cancer Society, Americans are already confronting alarming and unprecedented drug shortages in the wake of the IRA.

To mark today's date of September 13 - or 9/13 - it's appropriate to note a different but significant 9-13:  That refers to the indefensible distinction that the IRA makes between what are known as "small-molecule" and "large-molecule" drugs.

Specifically, the IRA imposes destructive price controls…[more]

September 13, 2023 • 03:24 PM

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Home Jester's Courtroom High Standard of Care Expected from Lawyers as Well as Doctors
High Standard of Care Expected from Lawyers as Well as Doctors Print
Thursday, April 29 2010

A recent Virginia Supreme Court ruling upheld sanctions imposed by the state bar against a plaintiff’s lawyer who filed a medical liability lawsuit against the wrong physician. 

The lawsuit began when attorney Michael P. Weatherbee filed a liability action on behalf of his client alleging that ob-gyn Ward P. Vaughan, M.D. and others had been negligent in their treatment of Broyles.  As it turns out, Weatherbee might not have done enough homework to make sure he had the right Vaughan listed as a defendant.

According to news reports, there were 15 physicians with the same last name listed on the Virginia Board of Medicine’s website, three of whom practiced obstetrics.  Two of them were women who practiced outside of Virginia, so Weatherbee assumed the third was the co-defendant.  The problem for Weatherbee is that this Dr. Vaughan was not involved in the surgery at issue.  In fact, this Dr. Vaughan didn’t even have privileges at the hospital when the procedure was performed there. 

Eventually, Dr. Vaughan was successful in getting himself dismissed from the case, but not before he had to hire an attorney to help him.  He then filed a complaint against Weatherbee with the Virginia State Bar, which found that Weatherbee failed to independently verify Dr. Vaughan’s involvement.

Weatherbee challenged the state bar’s ruling, first before a three-judge panel of the Arlington County Circuit Court, and then on appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court, which unanimously upheld the lower court’s finding of liability for filing a non-meritorious claim.  More particularly, the court took issue with the fact that Weatherbee did not take “simple” steps to adequately research Dr. Vaughan’s involvement.  The court also noted that the lawsuit had a “deleterious impact” on Dr. Vaughan’s practice after local radio and television stations reported the lawsuit and he lost patients.

"The record demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that Weatherbee's action against Dr. Vaughan was frivolous because it had no basis in law or fact," Chief Justice Leroy R. Hassell Sr. wrote.

The underlying medical liability action ultimately was settled.

—Source:  American Medical News (AMA Publication)

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