Sanders to unveil rule requiring drug companies to set fair prices

Sanders to unveil rule requiring drug companies to set fair prices

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersClinton backs Georgia governor hopeful on eve of primary The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Frenzy over Kennedy retirement rumors | Trump challenges DOJ Bernie Sanders announces Senate reelection bid MORE (I-Vt.) will unveil a new rule forcing pharmaceutical companies to set reasonable prices for drugs developed using research funded by federal research dollars, Huffington Post reported Monday.

The rule — an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act — is Sanders’s newest attempt to block pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur from receiving a license to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus with the U.S. Army.

Sanofi Pasteur is pursuing a patent that would block other drugmakers from being able to produce and sell the vaccine at a lower price.

The French company has received $43 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and is expecting $130 million more for future testing of the drug if current trials are successful. 

Sanders told HuffPost that federal agencies and nonprofits that receive federal funds would have to get manufacturers to sign a reasonable pricing agreement before handing over the exclusive rights to drugs or vaccines.

“The days of allowing Sanofi and other drug makers to gouge American consumers after taking billions in taxpayer money must end,” Sanders said. “That is why I am introducing legislation to demand fairer, lower prices for the Zika vaccine and for every drug developed with government resources. This is a fight that we cannot afford to lose.”

Sanders has attacked the French drugmaker before for its exclusive deal with the Army on the vaccine, calling for President Trump to shut down the deal in a May op-ed for The New York Times.