AIDS Vaccine Manufacturers V. Tort Regime: The Need for Alternatives

By Cloney, Kellen F. | Washington and Lee Law Review, Spring 1992 | Go to article overview

AIDS Vaccine Manufacturers V. Tort Regime: The Need for Alternatives


Cloney, Kellen F., Washington and Lee Law Review


Vaccines have contributed more to public health in this country and around the world than any other medical product, device, or procedure.(1)

Vaccines have effectively controlled or eradicated the once fatal and debilitating diseases of smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, and polio.(2) Yet, the imposition of strict product liability for adverse side-effects suffered by some vaccine users substantially deterred the development and manufacture of these vaccines and continues to hinder future access to them.(3) In the 1970s and early 1980s, twelve of the sixteen American vaccine manufacturers simply dropped out of the market, seriously threatening vaccine supply.(4) In response, Congress enacted legislation to address the detrimental effect the tort liability system was having on vaccine innovation and access.(5) In order to avoid repeating history, we must learn from these past vaccine scenarios and attempt to structure an effective method to deal with the problems conventional tort liability places in the path of finding an answer to the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic.(6)

AIDS is deemed the worst infectious disease in history.(7) The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), responsible for transmitting AIDS, strikes all sectors of society, regardless of racial, economic, sexual, and age boundaries.(8) Fortunately, private industry has the ability to formulate, produce, and test an AIDS vaccine.(9) As of 1990, the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases reported at least thirty vaccines under development world-wide,(10) seven of which have already reached the human testing stage.(11) However, if the tort liability problems persist, these potential AIDS vaccines may never reach the market. Federal legislation is the necessary solution to the detrimental effect that imposition of traditional tort liability has on the development, marketing, and price of an AIDS vaccine.(12)

I. GENERAL BACKGROUND

The term "AIDS" designates the specific group of diseases and conditions that are indicative of the severe immunosuppression resulting from infection with HIV.(13) By August 1991 the total number of AIDS cases in the United States reached 186,895.(14) Some 1,500,000 United States citizens are infected with the HIV virus, and estimates predict that 365,000 Americans will develop AIDS by the end of 1992.(15) The world-wide picture is dimmer yet, with approximately eight to ten million people infected.(16) The most distressing statistic is the high mortality rate.(17) The average AIDS patient lives only eighteen months after diagnosis, and more than eighty-five percent die within three years.(18) AIDS is now the leading cause of death in New York City among young to middle-age men and women.(19) Currently there is no known cure for AIDS, and all scientific evidence indicates that individuals testing positive for the virus will eventually contract AIDS and die.(20) The above statistics indicate that AIDS is a frightening contagion that will challenge our medical, scientific, and legal communities for years to come.(21) Not surprisingly, health officials have propelled AIDS to the top of biomedical and public health agendas.(22)

II. VACCINATION AS THE PREFERABLE MEDICAL APPROACH

Practitioners can use various medical approaches, including drug therapy and vaccination, to combat AIDS.(23) In 1991 the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association identified fourteen approved drugs, as well as eighty-eight drugs and vaccines in development for AIDS and AIDS-related conditions.(24) The major goal of existing drug therapies is to increase the quantity and quality Of life: in other words, to delay mortality and to reduce morbidity.(25) While prolonging life and easing pain are important, a preventive or curative approach is clearly preferable and, thus, development of an AIDS vaccine is a highly desirable goal.(26)

A "vaccine" is a biological agent derived from a living organism, as compared to chemically derived drugs, used for human immunization against a virus. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

AIDS Vaccine Manufacturers V. Tort Regime: The Need for Alternatives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.