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Swine Flu Outbreak Illustrates Problems in Vaccine Development
Date:4/29/2009

Federal Regulations and Price Controls Limit Vaccine Supplies

DALLAS, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fears of a swine flu pandemic highlight the importance of developing new vaccines, as well as meeting public demand for existing vaccines, according to a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis.

"We are facing a real threat of a shortage of at least six vaccines for common childhood illnesses," said NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick, Ph.D. Citing today's new report, 'What's Behind Vaccine Shortages,' Herrick added, "The vaccine industry itself is at high risk for failure, with shortages becoming more frequent."

Herrick says vaccinating large population segments, especially children, is one of the most cost-effective ways of preserving life. "Unfortunately, government cost-controls have restricted the vaccine industry to archaic production methods when faster, more efficient options are available."

"The FDA approval process also slows the development of vaccines for new virus strains." Herrick said these restrictions are partially to blame for the estimated four to six month lag in providing the public a vaccine for the current swine flu outbreak. "We have a fragile vaccine supply line that cannot respond quickly to emerging threats like we are seeing today." He added, "The federal government should remove itself from the marketplace."

For more information, please link to the full study: http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba655. For the latest on Health Care Reform issues, visit John Goodman's Health Policy Blog: http://www.john-goodman-blog.com.

To talk with Dr. Herrick, please contact Caytie Daniell.

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization established to develop alternatives to government regulation by relying on the private sector. Topics include health care, taxes, Social Security, welfare and environmental regulation.

    Contact:   Caytie Daniell
    (972) 308-6479
    caytie.daniell@ncpa.org


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SOURCE National Center for Policy Analysis
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