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Subject:  Re: Where's my flu shot, John Edwards? Date:  10/17/2004  8:34 PM
Author:  Goofyhoofy Number:  195260 of 746125

Vaccines are the one area of medicine where trial lawyers are almost completely responsible for the problem.

Actually they have almost nothing to do with it.

Vaccine manufacturers have left the business because it is too unpredictable and they have ended up throwing away vast portions of their stock each year for the past many years.

Britain has five flu vaccine manufacturers. The US only has two major producers. That's not because of "trial lawyers", it's because of the profitability of the business, which has been iffy at best. The drug market is nearly $400 billion. Vaccines account for just $6 billion, and are not high margin.

According to the Health And Human Services Website:

HHS WEBSITE: A Report of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee said: "While current vaccine shortages do not appear to be liability related, the VICP should be maintained and strengthened as supported by scientific evidence, including continuing expansion of VICP to include additional vaccines as they are recommended for routine administration to children."
http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/bulletins/nvac-vsr.htm#liability

One would think this administration could get its own Health and Human Services department to support the party line if it were indeed true.

100% of our flu vaccines come from two European companies because trial lawyers drove the US producers out of that business.

Well, uh. no. One of the manufacturers, Chiron, is an American manufacturer (headquartered in California) with a (badly run) plant in England. The other major manufactuer is Aventis Pasteur, and their plant is in Pennsylvania.
(A third, and also an American company, is Medimmune, although they only produce the nasal inhalant vaccine, which costs more and for which - until now - there has been a very small market.)

Part of the problem was that there were several plants producing (and distributing) infected vaccines in the 1980's and 1990's. The FDA tightened quality control standards, and that made it harder for companies to comply and still be competitive with newer, more efficient plants, so they dropped out of the business. The wholesale cost of vaccines has more than tripled since 1996; but it has still not been enough for companies to warrant the investment in the plants to make them, apparently.

This is a reasonable synopsis:
http://nytimes.com/2004/10/17/health/17flu2.html?hp&ex=1098072000&en=d2dfea7c2bb70b63&ei=5094&partner=homepage




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