Lawmakers are concerned that even though taxpayers funded the vaccine’s development, they may be priced out of being able to afford it if Sanofi is given an exclusive license.
Nearly a dozen members of Congress are urging the US Army not to issue an exclusive license to Sanofi Pasteur to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus over concerns the product may be priced too high for many Americans, even though it was developed with taxpayer funds. “In order to ensure that the investment made by taxpayers was worthwhile, it is critical that we ensure the vaccine to prevent against the Zika virus is accessible to anyone who requires it,” the lawmakers wrote on Wednesday in a letter to Robert Speer, the Acting Secretary of the Army.
As warmer temperatures herald the arrival of pesky mosquitoes, researchers are feverishly working on several promising vaccines against Zika, a virus notorious for infecting humans through this insect’s bite. The speed and debilitating effects of last year’s Zika outbreak in the Western Hemisphere prompted a sprint to develop a vaccine. Just a little more than a year after the pandemic was declared a global health emergency, a handful of candidates are undergoing preliminary testing in humans.”