A formal investigation has been launched by French authorities against two managers from drug companies GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur. A second investigation for manslaughter has also been opened against Sanofi Pasteur MSD. The investigations are in response to allegations that the companies failed to fully disclose side effects from an anti-hepatitis B drug used between 1994 and 1998. During this time, close to two-thirds of the French population, and almost all newborn babies, received a hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccination campaign was halted after concerns rose over the shot?s side effects. Thirty plaintiffs, including the families of five people who died after the vaccination, have launched a civil action in the case against the drug companies.
The parents of the five families accusing vaccines of causing their childrens disabilities.
Five families have joined forces to take GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Sanofi to court. They hope that the courts will acknowledge the side effects of vaccines and award compensation to their disabled children. Last Friday, their lawyer, Mr. Hartemann, presented their case before the Court of Bobigny in the outskirts of Paris.
After addressing the court for an hour and a half, Mr. Hartemann claimed to be pleasantly surprised by the verdict: the vaccine manufacturers had not objected to medical investigations in four of the five cases. This represents an initial go-ahead which, if approved by the court, will pave the way for further investigations and research into the rare diseases suffered by these children who all developed very severe neurological disturbances after receiving vaccines. They suffer side effects similar to those of major head traumas or epileptic fits causing …
The vaccine market has stabilized since the passage of the NCVIA and the establishment of the NVCIP. In the United States, six manufacturers supply most of the standard childhood and adult vaccines, and a handful of smaller companies and organizations supply other, less commonly used vaccines. Occasional vaccine shortages do occur (such as with influenza vaccine in 2003 through 2005) but these shortages may be due to a combination of factors without a strong connection to liability issues, such as the effect of corporate mergers, the level of government reimbursement for vaccines in the federally funded Vaccine for Children program, and regulatory issues.
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