November 24, 2009
MAJOR DRUG companies have said they will not contribute to a State-run compensation scheme for people who suffer adverse reactions to vaccines.
The Government is considering establishing a scheme which would entitle individuals who suffer severe adverse reactions from immunisation programmes to payments of between €15,000 and €200,000.
A report from the Vaccine Damage Steering Group said that for an individual to qualify for payment, an “adverse event” would need to have lasted more than six months or resulted in a hospital stay, surgery or death.
In a submission to the steering group, the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association – which represents major drug firms including GlaxoSmithKline, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi Pasteur MSD – said it supported establishing such a fund.
However, it added: “It would neither be appropriate nor fair to expect vaccine companies to help fund such a scheme.
“The industry will continue to provide funds for the extensive and exhaustive system of checks in place concerning their products and will also pay compensation where it is proven that it is appropriate to do so.”
The industry said it was “very sympathetic” to the plight of any person thought to be damaged by vaccines.