What is the potential Cost of the Government Indemnifying Drug Companies developing Covid Vaccine?
Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has queried the potential costs of indemnifying drug-development companies who are developing the Covid Vaccine in terms of ill health and state funds.
An Teachta Tóibín:
“Covid and the strategy of this government to deal with the illness has cost the people of Ireland enormously in terms of lives, ill health and the wiping out of whole sectors of the economy. It’s clear that Vaccines will be a major tool to deal with illness in 2021. If the vaccine is safe and ethically produced its logical that people will take it and it will help in getting Ireland back to normal”.
“If its not, it’s important that the manufactures take responsibility for any damage that’s caused. News that the government has indemnified pharmaceuticals from the potential cost of the failure of a vaccine is very worrying for two reasons”.
“If companies are protected from the cost of serious side effects or other major issues that could arise, it reduces the economic reasons for those companies to get ensure that they do everything necessary to get the vaccine right. Lability for significant negative consequences such as ill health and even death is one of the primary driving forces for safety in medicine. The deletion of liability reduces the economic imperative for Pharma companies to get things right from the start. Its important to remember these are profit driven businesses. Serious questions needs to raised when any government indemnifies private companies”.
“Secondly, the state taking on the liability for potential consequences, is a serious potential exposure to the tax payer. We all hope and pray that these vaccines will be safe and effective. It’s clear that policy makers seek to clear the way for a fast vaccination process. But hope is no good if something goes wrong. Could the state be left with hundreds of millions of euro of liabilities to pay? The Minister for Health needs to give details as to how much the state is potentially on the hook for and why this decision has been made. Aontú will raise this issue in the Dáil tomorrow.