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Sanofi Pasteur has rejected a request from the US Army to set an affordable US price for a Zika virus vaccine that the company is developing with American taxpayer funds, prompting an angry response from Senator Bernie Sanders.

For months, Sanders has pushed the Army to negotiate a more favorable agreement with Sanofi, which is one of the world’s largest vaccine makers and which has already received a $43 million US research grant. But Sanofi recently refused, according to an Army timeline of events reviewed by STAT.


The rejection comes amid negotiations the Army is holding to grant Sanofi a license to make and sell a Zika vaccine.  But the prospect of giving Sanofi an exclusive license to sell a potential blockbuster — depending upon how extensively the virus travels — at whatever price it wants, has upset various lawmakers and advocacy groups, who are pressing the Army to insist on affordable pricing.

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