Aquino confirms Sanofi meetings but unaware of firm’s ‘spotty’ record
Former President Benigno Aquino III confirmed on Thursday that he had met with Sanofi Pasteur officials in China and Paris on November 2014 and December 2015, respectively, but maintained that he was not informed of the company’s supposed involvement in bribery and false claims on their products.
Aquino said Sanofi Pasteur requested for a meeting with him in Beijing on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). He said that the meeting was requested through the Department of Health (DOH).
Aquino, however, said he was not briefed about the Sanofi Pasteur’s flecked record in the United States, Europe, China, and Africa, wherein the company was found guilty and fined millions of dollars over allegations of kickbacks, bribery, and false product claims.
“On the allegations or charges against Sanofi, both the China meeting nor even the Paris meeting, was not I informed any of these,” he said.
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Richard Gordon said the government would have been more “careful” and “circumspect” in dealing with Sanofi Pasteur if they were informed of the company’s track record.
“We just want to point out, Sir, without casting aspersion on your character, that when you meet with drug companies like these, and I’m sure Sanofi is not the only company… it’s been happening, that is why they have the lock key at the United States that punishes you as companies abroad for engaging in unethical conduct, bribery, and other things,” Gordon said.
“The point that I’m trying to make is that there ought to be a certain amount of due diligence [in dealing with Sanofi Pasteur].”
“I’m just saying that with all these signs, I would imagine that the government and Secretary [Janette] Garin ought to have been more careful and circumspect in dealing with Sanofi considering that they are very, very high precious salesman,” the senator explained. /kga
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