The Bush administration just put into effect a new law that frees manufacturers from product liability suits for damages caused by vaccines or drugs produced for use in avian flu.
The law, enacted in 2005, gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to grant immunity to companies based on an assessment of risk to public health. HHS has just invoked that clause “based on a credible risk that an avian virus spreads and evolves into a strain capable of causing a pandemic of human influenza.”
Of course, if the government and manufacturers knew that these products were beneficial and unlikely to cause harm, these measures would be unnecessary. And of course, if they knew that there was a likelihood of harm, they would make every effort to shield themselves and their profits far in advance of any real threat of a pandemic. Draw your own conclusions about the benefits and detriments of the treatments they are proposing.