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REP. WAXMAN ASKING VACCINE MFRs. FOR PROFITABILITY FIGURES

Executive Summary

REP. WAXMAN ASKING VACCINE MFRs. FOR PROFITABILITY FIGURES compared to other drug product lines. In a March 28 letter to vaccine mfrs., House Health Subcmte. Chairman Waxman (D-Calif.) and ranking minority subcmte. member Madigan (R-Ill.) requested that for the five year period from Jan. 1980 to March 1, 1985 the mfrs. "please describe the relative profitability of vaccines or vaccine products manufactured by your company . . . as compared with pharmaceutical product lines." The letter asks 42 questions regarding vaccine mfrs.' litigation experience, insurance status, vaccine research efforts, and pricing. The congressmen said the House Commerce/Health Subcmte. "needs additional background information from each of the vaccine mfrs. before we can develop compensation and liability programs that adequately address the needs of all those interested in this issue." Although Madigan has already introduced a vaccine injury compensation bill in the House ("The Pink Sheet" April 1, T&G-5), he and Waxman reportedly have agreed to forestall taking action on any legislation until the industry responses can be analyzed. The Health Subcmte. chairman and ranking minority member wrote that they sent the letter to "mfrs. of routine pediatric vaccines." They asked that responses be submitted by May 1, 1985. Other pricing information requested by the congressmen includes the following: Five-year history of the company's vaccine prices and sales Gross and net sales during each of the five years for diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella, oral polio, or other vaccines number of doses of each vaccine the company has stockpiled in case of emergency shortages. Litigation-related information the letter asks for includes: The number of law-suits and claims not resulting in litigation filed over the five-year period Damages requested in each suit The number of complaints settled and their dollar amounts The number of claims tried before a judge or jury Verdicts for the plaintiff, for the company, awards, and appeals by the plaintiffs or company of the verdicts or awards Cases pending Cases dismissed Estimated annual litigation costs. The congressmen also asked for each company's aggregate liability insurance coverage as of March 1, 1985 vis a vis the coverage as of March 1, 1984. In addition, they asked for the total annual liability insurance premiums for each of the five years and the percentage of gross sales the premiums represented. Regarding research, the letter asks for a description of current vaccine R&D programs, including annual funding, sources of financing, and their current status of the programs.
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