Sir.—Orenstein's letter,1 published in the May 1990 issue of AJDC, points out what is naive and bad in current thinking concerning litigation over the diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccines. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, effective October 1, 1988, was the most naive, if not the most stupid attempt at controlling a segment of our legal system that needs to be controlled. Intended to offer a good method of avoiding costly legal battles, it did just the opposite. Lawyers now have two recourses to sue. They can always sue if the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is not to their liking.
For the private sector, the program did nothing but increase our cost of the vaccine to approximately $17 per dose (not the $7.96 the government pays).
Numerous studies have indicated that the vaccine itself had nothing to do with the "brain damage" reported by attorneys
LOKIETZ H. Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Pertussis Vaccine Litigation. Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(4):425. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160040081005