Monday, February 23, 2009

Vaccine Makers' Immunity Questioned

The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program offers "the partial protection from liability risk," buffering vaccines makers "from much of the litigation risk that dogs traditional pill manufacturers and is an important reason why the vaccine business has been transformed from a risky, low-profit venture in the 1970s to one of the pharmaceutical industry's most attractive product lines today." However, "vaccines' transformation into a lucrative business has some observers questioning whether the shield law is still appropriate." Some notes that there are vaccines today, like Gardasil, "which aren't vital to preventing pandemics." Also, the Journal asserts, "many plaintiffs' lawyers would prefer to take their lawsuits directly to civil court," where they can get higher damages and "think that juries could give them a more sympathetic hearing." However, the pharmaceutical industry "argues that the vaccine shield is still necessary."

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