United Australia Party Senator Ralph Babet announced on social media that his vaccine indemnity bill has cleared the first stage of debate in the Senate and will be referred to the committee for public scrutiny and submissions.
The bill that aims to remove vaccine indemnity from manufacturers, shifting responsibility for any vaccine-related issues from the government to the pharmaceutical companies themselves.
"The best way to hold big pharma to account is to go after their profits. If this bill passes it will result in safer products," Babet posted to social media.
Currently, if something goes wrong with a vaccine, the government foots the bill. Senator Babet argues that it's common sense for the manufacturers to be accountable. The proposed bill would ensure that if pharmaceutical companies produce a vaccine that causes harm, they would be liable.
In a candid interview, Senator Babet stated that this legislation would reveal who in Parliament House prioritises the interests of the people over Big Pharma.
When asked about the possibility of the bill passing, he expressed optimism, emphasising that the voting process would disclose "who genuinely cares for Australians' welfare".
When questioned if removing indemnity might lead major pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer to stop selling products in Australia, Senator Babet countered by comparing the situation to car manufacturers. If a car is faulty, the manufacturer should be responsible, encouraging them to invest in safer products.
Babet claimed that indemnity is a recent concept, tailored to suit the interests of big pharma. He asserted that companies like Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca would not pull their products, as their primary interest is in making money.
"If they produce safe and effective products, there should be no cause for concern," he said.
The bill, if passed, could signify a significant shift in how pharmaceutical companies operate in Australia, holding them directly accountable for their products and potentially encouraging them to prioritise safety and quality.
The debate around this issue continues, with many waiting to see how Parliament will respond.