DOH has formally demanded refund for Dengvaxia
The Department of Health (DOH) has formally demanded French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur to fully refund the Philippine government the P3 billion it paid for the controversial Dengvaxia dengue vaccine.
In an interview with reporters late Monday afternoon, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he sent the demand letter to Sanofi last Jan. 26.
The demand letter was for the refund of almost P2 billion used vaccines.
Sanofi earlier returned over P1 billion to the Philippine government for the unused Dengvaxia.
“We already sent the letter for the refund of the used vaccines because the purported protection wasn’t felt, wasn’t there,” Duque said.
“In fact they withdrew the label. They did a relabeling because they said you can no longer use this for seronegative children who never had past dengue infection,” he added.
Duque also gave regional directors and DOH hospitals marching orders on how they should monitor and manage cases of vaccinated children who might develop dengue.
He said this would includes ensuring that hospitalization costs of the Dengvaxia vaccinated children would covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
Duque is also seeking legislative reforms, including strengthening Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) as mandatory research arm of DOH and strengthening the independence of the Food and Drug Administration.
“In the case of RITM, we want to ensure that checks and balances are fully in placed and it will not be influenced or under undue interference by the industry,” Duque said. “We also want to strengthen the independence of FDA in exercising its mandate to protect the public in regulating health products.” /atm
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