You may not want or need a Zika vaccine… but you’re getting one anyway, and you’re paying for it TWICE!
There’s a vaccine in development right now for this mosquito-carried disease, and it was created with tax dollars — YOUR dollars — by the United States military and its scientists.
But in a bit of shady behind-the-scenes maneuvering, the military just licensed that vaccine to Sanofi Pasteur, a French pharmaceutical company, along with full permission to charge U.S. consumers and their insurers whatever they want.
That’s no small concession.
This is a company that’s notorious for treating American patients like walking piggy banks, gouging them for every last dollar, while giving its French patients a steep discount.
The multiple sclerosis drug Aubagio, for example, costs the equivalent of $745 in France.
In America, Sanofi charges Medicare more than $5,000 for the same treatment, according to NPR.
That’s not a price difference.
That’s practically extortion!
The U.S. government could have, at the very least, demanded that Sanofi charge Americans no more for the Zika jab than they bill their own consumers in France.
But they didn’t… and I haven’t even gotten to the most outrageous part yet.
This vaccine is not quite ready for primetime yet (of course). It still needs both Phase II and Phase III clinical trials, which the French company has to conduct.
But it’s ALL going to be paid for with YOUR money!
The United States Department of Health and Human Services is going to send nearly $175 million in American tax dollars to this French company: $43 million for the Phase II trial, and, if that one works out, another $130 million for the Phase III trial.
Of course, there’s no guarantee the vaccine will work. If it doesn’t, you’ve paid for a big failure, and Sanofi is off the hook.
If it does, the company will earn billions for a drug developed with American tax dollars.
And odds are, even if the vaccine “works,” it will pack all the usual risks. Heck, it may end up being worse than the disease itself.
It’s a lose-lose-lose situation.
I can’t get you a refund on your tax dollars. But I can help protect you from Zika without a vaccine.
The best way to avoid this disease is the same way you’ll avoid all the other nasty germs carried by the filthy bugs: Make your yard a mosquito-killing field.
If you’ve got a little pond, make sure the water is flowing or has the types of fish that eat skeeter eggs. Get rid of ALL standing water in and around your yard.
And since the bugs could still come over from somewhere else, light the citronella torches, and coat yourself in DEET.