Monday, December 12, 2005


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This week Congressional leaders are attempting to immunize the drug industry from liability for injuries caused by vaccines and other drugs used during public health emergencies. We urge you to email your Senators and Representative in Congress and ask them to reject this proposal.

The proposal protects manufacturers from even gross negligence and reckless behavior, but provides no compensation for first responders and ordinary individuals who may suffer serious illness or death as a result of taking a public health emergency vaccine or other countermeasure. Moreover, the provision is being put together in a backroom deal—it was not passed by either the House or the Senate, nor was it ever debated on either Chamber’s floor. Any legislation that provides liability protections to manufacturers without ensuring that first responders and others injured by emergency vaccines and other countermeasures are compensated is extremely unfair and short-sighted.

We recognize the urgent need to prepare adequately for infectious disease outbreaks. It may very well be that during public health emergencies expedited approval of vaccines and drugs is necessary for the nation’s security. But broadly shielding manufacturers from responsibility for grossly negligent and reckless behavior and leaving victims with no recourse may cause more public harm than the pandemic disease itself. If individuals know there is no remedy for injuries caused by the vaccine’s side effects or by a defective batch of vaccine, they are likely to refuse immunization, thus undermining efforts to contain outbreaks.

Tell Congress that before they take care of drug companies, they must first adopt a reasonable compensation plan for those injured. The priority of Congress should be to enact an effective pandemic flu plan that provides security for all Americans, not a sweetheart deal for the big drug companies that leaves ordinary people at risk.

CLICK HERE: Take Action Now!

--Alliance for Justice

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