The Cutter Incident

The Cutter Incident

How America's First Polio Vaccine Led to the Growing Vaccine Crisis

Book - 2005
Average Rating:
1
Rate this:
Yale University
Vaccines have saved more lives than any other single medical advance. Yet today only four companies make vaccines, and there is a growing crisis in vaccine availability. Why has this happened? This remarkable book recounts for the first time a devastating episode in 1955 at Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, California, thathas led many pharmaceutical companies to abandon vaccine manufacture.

Drawing on interviews with public health officials, pharmaceutical company executives, attorneys, Cutter employees, and victims of the vaccine, as well as on previously unavailable archives, Dr. Paul Offit offers a full account of the Cutter disaster. He describes the nation’s relief when the polio vaccine was developed by Jonas Salk in 1955, the production of the vaccine at industrial facilities such as the one operated by Cutter, and the tragedy that occurred when 200,000 people were inadvertently injected with live virulent polio virus: 70,000 became ill, 200 were permanently paralyzed, and 10 died. Dr. Offit also explores how, as a consequence of the tragedy, one jury’s verdict set in motion events that eventually suppressed the production of vaccines already licensed and deterred the development of new vaccines that hold the promise of preventing other fatal diseases.


How a vaccine manufacturer’s error caused one of the worst biological disasters in American history and left a legacy of dangerous vaccine shortages



Book News
Offit, the chief of the division of infectious diseases and professor of immunologic and infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and professor of pediatrics at the U. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, brings his expertise to this fascinating and deeply troubling account, which describes the 1955 tragedy when Cutter Laboratories produced a tainted polio vaccine containing the live virus that was subsequently used for innoculations, with lethal results. Offit then relates the court case against Cutter, the precedent the verdict set in the pharmaceutical industry, and the impact it has had on vaccine production in the U.S. since. The account is based on primary documents and interviews with scientists, public officials, victims, and others. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell North Amer
Vaccines have saved more lives than any other single medical advance. Yet today there is a critical shortage of vaccines - and only four companies make them. What events led to this growing medical crisis? This book recounts how a devastating episode in 1955 - when, at the height of the polio epidemic, a vaccine made by Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, California, inadvertently contained the live, virulent virus - resulted in liability laws that have discouraged companies from developing and producing vaccines to this day.
Drawing on interviews with public health officials, pharmaceutical company executives, attorneys, Cutter employees, and victims of the vaccine, as well as on previously unavailable archives, Dr. Paul A. Offit offers a full account of the Cutter disaster. He describes the nation's relief when the polio vaccine was developed by Jonas Salk in 1955, the production of the vaccine at industrial facilities such as the one operated by Cutter, and the tragedy that occurred when 200,000 people were inadvertently infected with the live virus: 70,000 became ill, 200 were permanently paralyzed, and 10 died.
Dr. Offit explores how, as a consequence of this tragedy, one jury's verdict set in motion events that eventually suppressed the production of vaccines already licensed and deterred the development of new vaccines that hold the promise of preventing other fatal diseases. He also considers the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, created by Congress in 1986 to help protect both patients and pharmaceutical companies, and builds a case for applying this solution to other areas of health care that are currently staggering under the weight of injury lawsuits.

YUP
Vaccines have saved more lives than any other single medical advance. Yet today only four companies make vaccines, and there is a growing crisis in vaccine availability. Why has this happened? This remarkable book recounts for the first time a devastating episode in 1955 at Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, California, thathas led many pharmaceutical companies to abandon vaccine manufacture.
Drawing on interviews with public health officials, pharmaceutical company executives, attorneys, Cutter employees, and victims of the vaccine, as well as on previously unavailable archives, Dr. Paul Offit offers a full account of the Cutter disaster. He describes the nation’s relief when the polio vaccine was developed by Jonas Salk in 1955, the production of the vaccine at industrial facilities such as the one operated by Cutter, and the tragedy that occurred when 200,000 people were inadvertently injected with live virulent polio virus: 70,000 became ill, 200 were permanently paralyzed, and 10 died. Dr. Offit also explores how, as a consequence of the tragedy, one jury’s verdict set in motion events that eventually suppressed the production of vaccines already licensed and deterred the development of new vaccines that hold the promise of preventing other fatal diseases.

How a vaccine manufacturer’s error caused one of the worst biological disasters in American history and left a legacy of dangerous vaccine shortages


Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, c2005
ISBN: 9780300108644
0300108648
Branch Call Number: 614.549 Of2c
Characteristics: xii, 238 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

r
rlambertdo
Aug 20, 2012

A great book about playing with deadly organisms before the development of safety testing and quality control in manufacturing. This is the story of the development of the first polio vaccine and all of the missteps in moving to mass production. It also provides interesting perspective into the current state of medical malpractice and litigation.
Offit writes well from a medical perspective and carries the story to its conclusion.
If you enjoy medical history, read this book.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at Northern Indiana Database Cluster

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top