FRENCH pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur declined anew the request by the Department of Health (DoH) for a refund of the used vials of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia and an indemnity fund for children who were inoculated with the drug.
“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,” Sanofi said in a statement.
Sanofi reiterated that Dengue remained a major public health challenge in the country and vaccination would reduce the number of dengue cases, including severe dengue.
The pharmaceutical firm also reminded that no vaccine offered absolute protection and said that even Dengvaxia did not have 100 percent efficacy in its approved label.
Last week, Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd announced in a news briefing that the DoH has sent another letter to Sanofi Pasteur Asia-Pacific head Thomas Triomphe requesting for the refund of the used vaccines and an indemnity fund to be used for the hospitalization expenses of the infected children.
In the same letter, Duque said the department would invoke the provisions of the Civil Code if Sanofi would insist against refunding the full amount.
“So I have a new letter telling them I am invoking the provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines. There is a provision there that says the government wouldn’t have agreed to the price they set if they only admitted the supposed effects of the product were untrue. Or the government would buy fewer doses or would not buy the vaccine at all if there were a full disclosure on the vaccine,” Duque told reporters. KENNETH HERNANDEZ