The Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards asked the U.S. Army to require Sanofi to charge a reasonable price for a taxpayer-funded Zika vaccine, in a letter dated May 10, 2017.
The Army intends to grant Sanofi an exclusive patent license on a Zika vaccine developed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Governor Edwards noted that an exclusive license would allow Sanofi, a French drug company, to charge high prices that could bust the state health care budget and result in limited access to the vaccine in Louisiana.
Additional information on this vaccine is available at /zika and /zika-timeline.
Governor Edwards attended West Point and served in the 25th Infantry Division and as a company commander in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Statement of James Love, Director, KEI:
“Governor Edwards has raised a very important question: will President Trump make a deal with Sanofi, a French company, to protect U.S. taxpayers from paying high prices for a Zika vaccine, when the Army holds the key patents and the U.S. government is paying for the vaccine development? At a minimum, Trump needs to ensure the U.S. does not pay more than other high income countries for an invention we own and are funding through all phases of development. If Trump does not make conditions on pricing, he is encouraging Sanofi to make the United States a patsy, which Sanofi has already done for several drugs, including, for example, its multiple sclerosis drug Aubagio (teriflunomide).”
Press on Louisiana Letter:
- Sarah Karlin-Smith, “Louisiana governor raises concerns over Zika vaccine costs,” Politico Prescription Pulse, May 15, 2017.
- Ed Silverman, “Sanofi rejects US Army request for ‘fair’ pricing for a Zika vaccine,” Stat News, May 17, 2017.