Marketplace Vaccine Liability for Manufacturers and Pharmacists

It has been well established that every state allows pharmacists to immunize patients, as long as pharmacists meet the requisite training, have the appropriate certification, and utilize proper recordkeeping. States are at various stages regarding the minimum age requirements for patients, the types of vaccines pharmacists may administer, and to what extent a pharmacist has independent prescribing authority or, alternatively, whether they must immunize in accordance with a protocol. As with any other grant of professional practice authority, these functions are associated with the risk for liability.

The marketplace for vaccines has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry over the years, accompanied by extensive liability across the spectrum. For example, in the 1970s, a multitude of lawsuits alleging liability against drug manufacturers drove the cost of vaccine manufacturing skyward and even resulted in the temporary suspension of manufacturing vaccines. As a result of these claims, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (42 USC §§ 300(aa)(1-34),1 signed into law by President Ronald Reagan as part of a larger health care bill, in order to reduce the potential liability of vaccine manufacturers due to injuries associated with vaccine use. The Act established a compensation program. Effectively, a fund was created to allow those who were injured by vaccines to receive compensation derived from an excise tax on each dose. The Act essentially advances a no-fault compensation program and states that manufacturers cannot be held liable for unavoidable, adverse effects.1

Despite the broad efforts of the Act to protect against manufacturer liability in the event of an adverse outcome associated with vaccine administration, lawsuits persisted as plaintiffs continued to find ways to subvert the shield created by the Act. Legal challenges ensued, and by the 1980s, few, if any, companies were engaged in the manufacture of vaccines. Although…

Read the full article from the Source…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *