DOH demands P1.4-billion refund from Sanofi over unused bottles of “defective” Dengvaxia

(Eagle News)– The Department of Health has officially demanded a P1.4 billion refund from Sanofi Pasteur for the remaining unused bottles of the “defective” Dengvaxia vaccine.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said  a letter has been sent to Thomas Triomphe, the company’s Asia Pacific chief.

“The Dengvaxia vaccine which Sanofi Pasteur aggressively promoted and sold to the Philippine Government has undeniably failed to deliver its supposed clinical benefit and safety claims, hence, considered defective under Philippine civil laws,” Duque said.

According to the health chief, “the risk benefit ratio of Dengvaxia has significantly changed as the risk caused by the introduction of the vaccine to seronegative people has greatly outweighed its benefits, if any.”

In fact, he said based on data from the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, four out of 17 persons who were administered with Dengvaxia “identify dengue shock as cause of death.”

He said the other deaths were found among children who suffered other illnesses and comorbidities.

He clarified, however, that it wasn’t still definitive that Dengvaxia had actually caused those deaths.

He said an investigation was still being conducted by the Philippine General Hospital, which was so far looking into “clinical records.”

Duque said the agency has also requested the pharmaceutical company to conduct serotesting of the more than 830,000 who were administered the vaccine.

Duque said Sanofi Pasteur was told to use a newly developed test to determine their “pre-vaccination status” for free.

He said the agency has also asked for all relevant documents on other studies on the controversial vaccine in the Philippines.

He said it was also told to present proof it passed ethics review standards of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.