Tags: sanofi | barda | hhs | glaxo

Are US Taxpayers Funding European Big Pharma?

Are US Taxpayers Funding European Big Pharma?

(Jan Sučko/Dreamstime)

By Tuesday, 14 July 2020 01:29 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Sanofi, a giant pharmaceutical company by any standards, is considered a "champion of French industry" according to NPR’s recent report, which includes inside quotes from the Elysée, France’s seat of government.

That’s despite its having reached multinational status decades ago.

The French government gives it €150 million euros in tax exemptions annually (at today’s exchange rate, about $162 million). In the third week of April, the company posted €8.97 billion for 2020’s first quarter, which represents a rise of 6.9% over the previous year’s same quarter. As for net income, that is up 48% over last year, with a nice haul of €1.7 billion, a profit increase it credits to the COVID19 pandemic.

A lot of this giant pharmaceutical’s success, though, is perhaps thanks to American taxpayer money.

Another One Reportedly At The (U.S.) Federal Government Trough

The company has a rank of No. 7 on the Top 100 companies receiving U.S. federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

They are just behind the UK company, Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) who rank at No. 6.

What kind of federal taxpayer dollars are we talking about?

For 2019 Sanofi purportedly received $608,641,465.55 from the feds, while GSK purportedly received $983,278,199.78.

That’s not counting the additional $226 million Sanofi reportedly received in December — make note of that date — Dec. 9, 2019 — to "expand pandemic influenza preparedness."

From the Sanofi website, their own press release reads as follows:

"We are pleased to be taking this critical next step in our longstanding relationship with BARDA (Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority — an agency of the HHS), which will enable us to significantly enhance flu vaccine supply under pandemic influenza scenarios," said David Loew, Executive Vice President, Vaccines at Sanofi. "We are deeply committed to advancing influenza vaccine technology and manufacturing, and our public and private partnerships are an important part of these ongoing efforts to help protect people from influenza" (Dec. 9, 2019).

They further quote from the BARDA side in their press release, from Dec. 9, 2019:

"The question is not if, but when the next influenza pandemic will occur, carrying potentially devastating consequences for public health and the U.S.economy," said BARDA Director Rick Bright, Ph.D. "As the recent presidential executive order on pandemic preparedness emphasized, technology to produce effective vaccines quickly and safely in the United States can improve access, protect more people sooner and, ultimately, strengthen national and global health security. Public-private partnerships, such as this one with Sanofi Pasteur, are essential in moving such technology forward" (De. 9, 2019).

Sanofi Under French Nationalist Fire

Recently, in France, in May, Sanofi came under fire from politicians, such as the (now former) Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Olivier Véran, France’s Minister of Health, for making a statement to the effect that the U.S. would get the first doses of any vaccine it was successful in manufacturing. In fact, according to NPR, President Emannuel Macron was "shocked by the revelation" and quickly called a meeting at the Elysée with Sanofi’s upper brass.

None of the reports by RFI, France24, NPR, BFM-TV, or Euronews on this brouhaha erupting in May about the distribution of potential Sanofi-Glaxo Smith Kline vaccines noted, alluded to or even hinted at the fact that Sanofi, a French billion dollar pharmaceutical company, has purportedly received billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars over the decades for development of its vaccines and other pharmaceutical products.

Indeed, in the same press release, from December 9, 2019, they add a little paragraph about themselves:

"About Sanofi. Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We help prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain, and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions. With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe."

That is perhaps with the generous help of HHS, BARDA, as well as  American taxpayers and prescription drug consumers.

Paige Donner has contributed to Newsmax since 2018. She's a media expert, commentator, novelist, and serial entrepreneur. She founded the company, Paris Food And Wine in 2013. In 2018, she founded IoTShipping, a supply chain logistics startup that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) for precision traceability of shipped goods. Paige began her journalism career in Paris, France in 1990. Her first job out of university was with Time-Life's rue Fbg. St. Honore offices. Within the next two years, she took freelancing work as a copy editor for the International Herald Tribune, now re-branded the International New York Times, as well as writing assignments for Variety — the film and television trade magazine. Paige has also clerked for the Senate President of the Hawaii State Legislature. A filmmaker, she has written several television pilots as well as directed television commercials and film shorts. She also contributed to American Cinematographer, the Los Angeles Times, Daily Variety, Huffpost, and a film production trade magazine, Below The Line. As of 2010, Paige has again made Paris, France her home. She has also written for the International New York Times. Since 2013, she has been the sole regular local editor/photographer contributor based in Paris, France for USA Today. Read Paige Donner's Reports — More Here.

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What kind of federal taxpayer dollars are we talking about? For 2019 Sanofi purportedly received $608,641,465.55 from the feds, while GSK purportedly received $983,278,199.78.
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