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Waiving Coronavirus Research Liability Driven by Lost HIV Work

March 17, 2020, 4:27 PM

Medical companies have the green light to develop new coronavirus tests and vaccines without having to worry about lawsuits—building on lessons learned from abandoned HIV research in the 1990s.

The federal extension of liability protection for drug and device makers willing to invest research into new vaccines, tests, and equipment to address the coronavirus pandemic is a critical step that will encourage U.S. companies to act faster, according to lawyers watching the issue.

It means that drugmakers who fast-track a vaccine or test for Covid-19 won’t have to worry about being sued if the treatments later result in injury or ...