Government demands full refund of payment for dengue vaccine

The Department of Health (DOH) has asked French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur to return the P3.5 billion the government had paid for the Dengvaxia vaccines in 2016.

This was revealed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III right after his meeting with DOH regional directors late Monday afternoon.

“We already sent the [demand] letter for the refund of the used vaccines,” Duque said, stressing, “the purported protection wasn’t felt, wasn’t there.”

The demand letter was sent to Sanofi’s Asia Pacific head Thomas Triomphe on January 26.

“In fact, they withdrew the label. They did a relabelling because they said you can no longer use this for seronegative children who never had past dengue infection,” Duque said.

Earlier, Duque asked Sanofi to pay back the P1.5 billion for the unused dengue vaccine vials that had been kept in the DOH’s warehouses.

Sanofi then complied by returning the amount to the Philippine government for the unused vaccines.

Duque also gave his marching orders to regional directors and DOH hospitals on how they should monitor and manage cases of vaccinated kids who may later develop dengue.

The DOH chief said the hospitalization costs of the vaccinated children should be covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

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