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AIDS VACCINE LIABILITY DISCUSSED AS POTENTIAL LEGISLATIVE

Executive Summary

AIDS VACCINE LIABILITY DISCUSSED AS POTENTIAL LEGISLATIVE target or subject of regulatory effort at the third conference organized by the Keystone Center in Colorado. A meeting held Nov. 29-Dec. 1 was the third of the project, which is designed to address liability concerns involved in the clinical testing and marketing of AIDS vaccine products. The Keystone Center was asked by "members and staff of Congress" to organize a series of consensus-building conferences among disparate parties interested in the issue, according to a center spokesman. The ultimate goal is to develop a feasible legislative or regulatory approach to the problem. Participants in the meetings included representatives of Congress or their staffs, the Office of Technology Assessment, FDA and the National Institutes of Health, pharmaceutical companies, the biotechnology industry, the medical and legal professions, AIDS patients, and consumers, including the Consumer Federation of America and the Consumers Union. Keystone is currently in a "drafting phase" of its work, the spokesman said. By February or March, Keystone hopes to produce a "consensus document" to explain where the various interest groups were able to reach a consensus and where there were disagreements. The center is a nonprofit organization that "facilitates and mediates" among parties to try to develop a consensus approach to issues of interest. Historically, environmental issues have predominated Keystone's agenda. The center worked on the general subject of product liability previously, but the project did not result in a "final product," like a consensus document, Keystone said.
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