Friday, January 09, 2004

Update on Anthrax Vaccine

In light of the FDA's recent approval of the anthrax vaccine for use to prevent inhalation anthrax, Judge Sullivan has lifted his preliminary injunction against the military's administration of the vaccine to nonconsenting soldiers. His two-page order calls the timing of the FDA's approval "suspicious," but says that the approval addresses the "principal reason" for issuance of the preliminary injunction.

Apparently, however, this was just one skirmish in what may be a longer war. The lawyers who brought the litigation say they will continue to press for a permanent injunction, because the vaccine's proponents rely largely on animal studies whose validity they question. The lawyers also say they will seek class certification.
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.