The state Supreme Court carved a limited exception into NewJersey’s learned intermediary doctrine last Monday, ruling thatwhen prescription drug companies directly market their productsto consumers without providing adequate safety warnings, theycan’t seek cover by showing they provided product information tophysicians.

The Court held, 5-2, that Wyeth Laboratories — themanufacturer of the Norplant contraceptive — can be sued becausea massive advertising campaign in the early 1990s failed to warnwomen of any dangers or side effects associated with the device.

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