MANILA - Drug manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur on Monday said it will pay back the Philippine government for the unused doses of dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, which the Department of Health requested.
"Our decision to reimburse for unused doses is not related to any safety or quality issue with Dengvaxia. Rather Sanofi Pasteur hopes that this decision will allow us to be able to work more openly and constructively with the DoH to address the negative tone towards the dengue vaccine in the Philippines today," the French firm said in a statement.
"Sanofi Pasteur strongly believes that this tone is due to a misunderstanding of the benefits and risks associated with the dengue vaccine and a lack of awareness amongst the general public, particularly parents of vaccinated children, that the overall benefit of dengue vaccination remains positive in high endemic countries like the Philippines," it added.
Last week, the DOH said it has formally written to Sanofi Pasteur, asking it for a refund of the remaining unused vials of Dengvaxia and to shoulder the cost of tests for the vaccine recipients.
The department said it asked for P 1.4 billion from the company.
Sanofi Pasteur last year admitted Dengvaxia might cause more severe dengue symptoms if given to those who have not had the mosquito-borne disease before.
It then prompted the DOH to halt its immunization program, which was earlier conducted on about 830,000 public school students. Authorities also suspended the sale of Dengvaxia.
Lawmakers also launched a legislative inquiry into the matter.