Jul 24, 2017
This letter was originally published by The New York Times on July 24, 2017
The Drug Maker Sanofi’s New Dengue Vaccine
To the Editor:
Fran Quigley made an extraordinary claim in “Escaping Big Pharma’s Pricing With Patent-Free Drugs” (Fixes column, nytimes.com, July 18). He says “if a malady has no market in wealthy countries, it gets no attention” from the biopharmaceutical industry, that we spend far more on lobbying than “on research for a vaccine against dengue fever.”
Sanofi spent close to $1.5 billion and 20 years developing a new dengue vaccine for the world’s most at-risk populations. We develop lifesaving vaccines for many other diseases that affect the developing world —cholera, yellow fever, polio and sleeping sickness treatment — and provide them to international organizations at minimal costs.
It was our experience with dengue, which is closely related to Zika, that led to our work with the United States Army on a potential vaccine.
Should our clinical trials find that the Army’s Zika vaccine candidate is effective, the United States government will receive royalty payments to help offset its investments in our development work.
And when it comes to pricing, Sanofi’s long history demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our vaccines are available to those who need them, no matter where they live.
KATHLEEN TREGONING, BOSTON
The writer is executive vice president for external affairs at Sanofi.