Palace welcomes P1.4-B refund for unused Dengvaxia

MANILA -- Malacanang on Tuesday described as a step in the right direction the decision of pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur to refund some PHP1.4 billion worth of unused Dengvaxia vaccine.

We welcome that refund but the position of the DOH (Department of Health) is for a full refund. Now, nonetheless, we view this latest step of pharmaceutical company as a step in the right direction, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.

Roque, however, said the refund should not affect the ongoing investigations which will ultimate determine whether or not there is a criminal culpability on the party of Sanofi.

The French pharmaceutical firm has reportedly announced it heeded the DOH's demand to reimburse for the doses of Dengvaxia that were not used by the government in the public vaccination program.

The DOH suspended its dengue vaccination program after Sanofi Pasteur disclosed last November that Dengvaxia could result in severe dengue among those who had not been infected by the dengue virus before receiving the vaccine.

At the time of the disclosure, more than 830,000 public school children had already been vaccinated with Dengvaxia.

On Sunday, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III urged the DOH to ask for a full refund of the PHP3.5 billion used for the entire contract of Dengvaxia vaccine.

Source: Philippine News Agency