Patientforsikring convicted for speech about drug

4. december 2009  
Filed in News

Tandlægeforeningens Patientforsikring has today been ordered to pay CMS Dental € 2.5 million. kr. in damages.

Judgment in a case concerning an article in the Tandlægebladet from 2005. In the article advised the president of the Tandlægeforeningens Patientforsikring dentists to be careful when they used the 4 % articaïne for anesthesia in the lower jaw.

The judgment clarifies, not whether there is greater risk by using the articaïne than by using other anesthetics for anaesthesia in the mandible.

Tandlægeforeningens Patientforsikring take the judgment into account.

The president of the Tandlægeforeningens Patientforsikring, dentist Jahn Legarth, said:

– When I was invited to write the article to Tandlægebladet, there were previously been written in the magazine about the articaïne. Lægemiddelforsikringen was oriented and thus there was also passed information to the Danish medicines agency, which has responsibility for the safety of medicines. I don't know what I would have done, if I in advance had known that the article would lead to a lawsuit, which has had high personal costs for me.

Tandlægeforeningens president Susanne Andersen says:

The judgment contains some scary prospects. It will be important for us, for the medical associations and other health organizations. We are concerned that the high court's judgment will be perceived as a restriction of freedom of expression in the medical debate on the possible adverse effects of medicines. The judgment does not change that it is the individual dentist's duty to advise his patients in the best way possible and to report side effects to the Danish medicines agency.

Tandlægeforeningens Patientforsikring has not yet taken a position on whether the judgment should be appealed.

Tandlægeforeningen and Tandlægeforeningens Patientforsikring have no further comments on the judgment.