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Much has been written about how the American vaccine industry was nearly destroyed by tort liability litigation in the 1980s and how price controls and tight reimbursement limits impeded innovation in the ensuing decades. Yet remarkably little is known about the vaccine industry's extraordinary resurgence in the past decade or so. Research and development on a broad front have brought new or improved vaccines for children and for the flu, along with breakthrough vaccines for pneumonia, shingles, the human papillomavirus (the leading cause of cervical cancer), rotavirus (which kills thousands of children annually in poor nations), and more.

In their new book, U.S. Markets for Vaccines: Characteristics, Case Studies, and Controversies (AEI Press, May 2009), Ernst R. Berndt, Rena N. Denoncourt, and Anjli C. Warner provide a sweeping account of these new developments. This authoritative work includes a clear analysis of the unusual economic and biological properties of vaccines and their resulting effect on markets--from vaccination incentives and patient responses to the difficulty of testing biologics (for example, the enormous clinical trials needed for testing vaccines). The authors also lead us through the basic stages of vaccine development and marketing. Detailed case studies provide a wealth of insights from experience with four very different vaccines: the familiar DPT and flu vaccines and the pneumonia and shingles vaccines. Berndt, Denoncourt, and Warner conclude by discussing the current controversy over vaccine safety and the new wave of research on exotic approaches such as therapeutic cancer vaccines, which are designed to attack illnesses rather than prevent them.

Official Website: http://www.aei.org/events/eventID.1928/event_detail.asp

Added by insideronline on April 29, 2009

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