Govt to sue Sanofi over defective dengue vaccine


HEALTH Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd said on Thursday that the government would sue Sanofi Pasteur, the pharmaceutical company that manufactured Dengvaxia, the dengue vaccine that turned out to be more harmful than beneficial in treating patients infected for the first time by the mosquito-borne disease.

In an interview on “Headstart,” the news and public affairs program on ANC, Duque said Sanofi had caused a health scare when it admitted that the vaccine, while effective on those who had been infected, did not have the same results on those who had newly acquired the disease as they faced the risk of developing a severe case of dengue fever.

“Eventually it’s the court of law that is going to decide in so far as the liability of Sanofi is concerned,” Duque said.

Duque also said the government may ask Sanofi for a refund of the P1.4 billion or roughly over $27.6 million worth of unused dengue vaccine supplies.

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered a recall of Dengvaxia in the market pending results of an investigation into the medical fiasco.

The Department of Health (DoH) suspended last week its dengue immunization program in response to Sanofi’s disclosure.

In a press conference early this week, Sanofi did not offer to recall the product but instead proposed that the vaccine be “relabeled” to contain its possible adverse effects on first-time dengue victims. KENNETH HERNANDEZ



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