U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is asking President Donald Trump to carefully manage a deal between the U.S. Army and France-based pharma firm Sanofi to develop a Zika virus vaccine.
The U.S. Senator has criticized French pharmaceutical company Sanofi that has been working on a vaccine for Zika since February 2016 and has already gotten $43 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a vaccine with the Army and is expected to receive $130 million more in federal funding.
“If Mr. Trump allows this deal, Sanofi will be able to charge whatever astronomical price it wants for its vaccine,” Sanders wrote.
Sanders is asking Sanofi to promise it won’t charge too high prices for its vaccines that would been developed with also american money, otherwise under this system Americans will be paying twice. He then has pointed to Xtandi, a cancer drug that he has already criticized in the past, as an example of a drug that was developed in part with government funding that now has a high list price.
Nonetheless, even if Bernie Sanders is putting forward is concerns, Sanofi’s vaccine is still a long way from getting approved in the US, and there’s no guarantee the vaccine would work.
Sanofi is not the only company working on developing a Zika vaccine. Other companies including Vaxart, Takeda and Google ’s Verily are all working on vaccines.