A Foundation for Innovation
Texas’ road from Spindletop to Tesla seems unlikely, but in reality, it was inevitable.
Innovation has long been in the fabric of our state. The world has Texas to thank for everything from the frozen margarita to ATMs to the first handheld calculator.
And now, we can add low-cost COVID-19 vaccine to that list.
Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development in Houston have developed a game-changing vaccine that will help low- and mid-income countries protect their populations from COVID-19. Much of the funding for development of the new vaccine came from Texans.
The vaccine uses older, proven technologies that can be manufactured more easily and at a fraction of the price it takes to manufacture the vaccines in use in the U.S. The intellectual property to develop the vaccine has been made publicly available in order to expand access, and it has already received emergency authorization for production in India.
So what’s the secret sauce that continues to attract big thinkers to the Lone Star State?
A strong economy that encourages investment and research, supported by a fair legal system that shuts down innovation-killing lawsuits. Particularly in the world of vaccine research.
Vaccine and pharmaceutical manufacturers have long been vulnerable to questionable lawsuit claims fueled by a barrage of TV advertising. In the world of technology, innovations create new opportunities for personal injury plaintiff lawyers to create new cottage industries for litigation. Much of this is supported by the growth in third-party litigation financing.
Product liability reforms are part of the landmark lawsuit reforms Texas passed in 2003, including a “government standards” defense for manufacturers that comply with all state and federal standards or regulations applicable to their product. This is especially important for manufacturers of highly-regulated products, like vaccines, which are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The Texas Supreme Court recently upheld the 2003 product liability reforms. That case and the continued success Texas has had in attracting cutting-edge companies, world-class researchers and physicians to our state is the proof in the tort reform pudding.