SENATE PANEL WANTS SANOFI TO PUT UP COMPENSATION, MONITORING FUND

More than just reimbursing the government for the procurement of the Dengvaxia Vaccine, the Senate Blue Ribbon is proposing that French manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur should establish and put up a compensation and monitoring fund for the people administered with the said vaccine.

In a statement, Senator Richard J. Gordon, chair of the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers & Investigations (Blue Ribbon), explained that the fund will be used in monitoring and supporting the treatment and hospitalization of the individuals affected.

"More than just reimbursing the government for the P1.4-billion unused stock of Dengvaxia or even for the cost of the total order, Sanofi should make provisions for the people, both children and adults, who were injected with the vaccine, for the monitoring and hospitalization and in the case of death, to provide full support to the families," the senator stressed.

"This is similar to what Sanofi did in 2016, when a class suit was filed against the company due to its medicinal products (Depakine, Micropakine, Depakote, Depamide and generics) that may have created birth malformations and developmental disorders which led the French public authorities to create a Compensation Fund to answer for the damage/s caused," he explained.

The French pharmaceutical company has agreed to reimburse the Philippine government for the P1.4 billion unused stock of dengue vaccine Dengvaxia stored at Department of Health warehouses.

In November last year, Sanofi admitted that Dengvaxia may cause severe dengue in people administered with the vaccine who are seronegative or have not had dengue fever prior to the inoculation.

Heeding the subsequent public clamor, the Blue Ribbon Committee continued with its investigation on the Aquino administration's hasty procurement of P3.5-billion worth of Dengvaxia in 2016 when the said vaccine had yet to undergo complete laboratory testing.

The committee will be having its fourth hearing on Monday, January 22, to tackle the issues on the undue haste of procuring the vaccines and the accountability of the Office of the President, the DOH, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Budget and Management, and other agencies that may be involved.

"While charges in courts may already have been filed by certain groups; the duty of Congress to propose recommendations in aid of legislation, particularly on the undue haste of procuring the vaccines, remains to be in place. It is Congress' duty to make people aware of these issues," Gordon said.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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