Monday, February 23, 2009


Is the Vaccine Shield a Model for Limited FDA Preemption

The WSJ has an interesting article today about the limits on lawsuits in the arena of certain vaccines. It may require subscription to access, but it can be found here:

There are also summaries at various blogs, including Fierce Biotech:

What is unique about the vaccine law is that the shield is quite limited. If individual plaintiffs are turned down by the "vaccine court," or are otherwise not happy with the verdict, they are still free to file suit privately.

Might this be a model for limited preemption in the wider drug arena? Probably not, in that it would require an enormous "drug court"--or many--to field all the potential claims. Still, according to the article, Henry Waxman has been a key supporter of the current regime re: vaccines and, overall, it seems to have worked reasonably well.

What do you think?


  1. The Vaccine Shield as a model for limited preemption would be a disaster. The system has worked out very well for vaccine makers; however, petitioners to the Vaccine Court have not fared so well. Although the “Court” was supposed to be speedy, fair and flexible, what really happens is claims are held up for long periods of time, sometimes years, there is no flexibility and the govt. is incredibly stingy and petty.

    Along with Guantanamo, this parody of justice needs to be closed down. See: Vaccine Injury Claims Face Grueling Fight - Los Angeles Times

    Off the subject a bit, but regarding vaccinations, when my children were little, they had their vaccinations, but that was before kids were given more than 46 inoculations by age six.

    I don’t trust drug manufacturers, the FDA, or the Vaccine Court. We’ve come a long way since penicillin and the polio vaccine. Faith and hope in medicine is being replaced with doubt and fear.

    Though difficult to find, there are some doctors who question the need for so many vaccinations, will not give “jumbo” shots, and will space vaccinations out over a period of time. See: Some Parents Refusing Vaccines For Their Kids -

    Also, from: AGE OF AUTISM: Congressman Henry Waxman: Father of the Autism Epidemic

    “I really don't believe Henry Waxman had any idea what a monster he had actually unleashed with the passage of this 1986 bill….

    Waxman and others were focused solely on keeping the handful of vaccines we did have from disappearing -- the bill’s purpose was to save the existing vaccine program, not create a foundation for tripling the number of shots given to our kids….

    …the passing of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986 was a watershed moment for the vaccine industry, unleashing two decades of escalating vaccine mandates, culminating in the bloated, 36 shot schedule we have today for kids under 5.”

  2. Some more Medtronics info:

  3. Just one other post, it's from the NY Times (1941) and it's about penicillin. Just thought it might be of interest.

  4. Thank you for the great links, James. The story about Alexander Fleming and his discovery of Penicillin was very interesting.

    For the sake of us all, let’s hope Congress puts some speed on the nullification of the Riegel decision.


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