• Sanofi firm against Dengvaxia refund, indemnification amid looming civil suit


    FRENCH pharmaceutical giant Sanofi on Monday said it has yet to receive a formal document from the Department of Health (DoH) on the civil case it would file against the company regarding its refusal to refund used vials of anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia and indemnifying alleged victims of the drug.

    “We have not received any formal document in relation to the civil case to be filed by the Department of Health in relation to the company’s response to the second request to refund the government for the used doses of Dengvaxia,” the pharmaceutical firm said in a statement.

    “As mentioned in our reply letter to the DOH, we stand firmly behind our product. Refunding the used doses of Dengvaxia would imply that the vaccine is ineffective, which is not the case. And at this time, there is also no known circumstance requiring indemnification,” it added.

    Sanofi said it was still willing to meet with the DoH on how it could help in restoring public trust on vaccines.

    Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd last Thursday said the DoH would soon file a civil case for damages against Sanofi following its second refusal to refund used anti-dengue vaccine vials worth P1.6 billion and put up an indemnification fund for recipients of the vaccine.

    “I have forwarded the letter to the Legal Department and ordered that a civil suit be instituted against Sanofi Pasteur,” Duque said.

    The dengue immunization program was initiated in 2016 as a school-based program under Health Secretary Janette Garin, despite alleged incomplete clinical trials.

    So far, more than 20 children who were inoculated with Dengvaxia have died, although it has yet to be established on whether the vaccine was the actual cause. KENNETH HERNANDEZ



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