Philippines plans to sue Sanofi over dengue vaccine

Source:AFP Published: 2017/12/7 22:38:39

The Philippines intends to sue Sanofi after authorities suspended the pharmaceutical giant's anti-dengue vaccine in response to the company warning the drug could lead to severe infections in some cases, the health secretary said.

Regulators froze the Philippines' world-first public dengue immunization program last week and suspended all sales of the vaccine on Monday after Sanofi said Dengvaxia could worsen symptoms for vaccinated people who contracted the disease for the first time.

"Eventually it's the court of law that is going to decide in so far as the liability of Sanofi is concerned," Health Secretary Francisco Duque said on ABS-CBN television.

The previous administration of president Benigno Aquino launched the vaccination program last year, making the Philippines the first nation to use Dengvaxia on a mass scale.

About 830,000 schoolchildren had received at least one dose of the vaccine, Duque said on Thursday. Previously the government said more than 733,000 people had been vaccinated.

Sanofi's announcement last week caused great concern in the Philippines -- where the mosquito-born disease is extremely prevalent.

The French company on Monday sought to allay concerns, saying Dengvaxia would not cause anyone who was immunized to die and would not cause a dengue infection.

However, Duque said Thursday Sanofi's recent statements on Dengvaxia were "confusing." Duque said he may ask Sanofi to refund 1.4 billion pesos ($27.6 million) worth of unused Dengvaxia supplies.



Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

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