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DOH seeks P1.4-billion refund from Sanofi for unused Dengvaxia

In the second letter, DOH asked Sanofi to conduct serotesting of more than 830,000 individuals who were immunized by the controversial Dengvaxia to determine their pre-vaccination status. The STAR/KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health has officially demanded pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur to refund the unused Dengvaxia vials amounting to P1.4 billion.

In a statement released Friday, DOH said that health chief Francisco Duque III sent two demand letters to Sanofi Pasteur Asia Pacific head Thomas Triomphe.

In the second letter, DOH asked Sanofi to conduct serotesting of more than 830,000 individuals who were immunized by the controversial Dengvaxia to determine their pre-vaccination status.

DOH also maintained that the cost of tests should be shouldered by Sanofi.

“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.

The health secretary said that DOH has yet to receive an official response regarding the letters.

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The department halted its dengue vaccination program following the disclosure of Sanofi that Dengvaxia poses potential risk to those who had no prior dengue infection.

The mass vaccination program was introduced by former health secretary Janette Garin.

READ: DOH suspends dengue immunization program over potential health risk

Four deaths related to dengue

Duque clarified that four of the 17 cases being looked into have died due to dengue shock, emphasizing that there is no conclusion yet on whether the administration of Dengvaxia caused the deaths of those vaccinated.

“We cannot answer that as of now because our experts are still studying the clinical records,” he said. DOH has tapped experts from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital to investigate the dengue vaccine-related deaths.

He also reiterated the department’s earlier statement that it is willing to cooperate with ongoing investigations being conducted by the Department of Justice and the Public Attorney’s Office.

READ: DOH confirms dengue deaths after taking Dengvaxia

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