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Monday, February 13, 2006

Quick, We Won't Sue

Vaccines developed against H5N1 by private pharmaceutical companies will enjoy broad liability protections in an effort to encourage the vaccine development and get the to market quicker.
In December, Congress gave [Director of Health and Human Services] Leavitt the authority to declare when products are necessary "countermeasures" for a public health emergency. The manufacturers and distributors of such products will have sweeping liability protections.

Under the protections, people injured by a vaccine against bird flu would have to prove willful misconduct to bring a claim for damages. Critics have said that such a high threshold would make it almost impossible for people injured by a drug to file a lawsuit.

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