MANILA - The Philippines plans to coordinate with Singapore on the alleged concealment of French drug maker Sanofi Pasteur on risks posed by its dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday said the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) will reach out to Singapore authorities to verify whether Sanofi had informed the city-state of Dengvaxia risks in 2015.
"I think that's part of the undertaking of FDA to coordinate and to seek more information about the submission of documents... I understand the head of FDA will do that," Duque said.
This after FDA Director Nela Charade Puno revealed that Sanofi already knew about the vaccine's risks when it applied for a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) in Singapore.
Testifying before a legislative inquiry, Puno said Sanofi knew of the vaccine's risks as early as 2015 but did not inform the Philippines. The drug maker released its advisory on the potential risks of Dengvaxia in late November last year.
Sanofi, however, maintained that it did not conceal information about the effects of Dengvaxia on children who have not yet been infected with dengue.
The FDA earlier ordered the suspension of the sale of Dengvaxia after the French drugmaker admitted in late November that the vaccine could cause more severe symptoms of dengue if given to those who have not had the mosquito-borne illness.
Sanofi's admission prompted the government to suspend its nationwide dengue immunization program, under which some 830,000 children were injected with the drug.
-- report from Kori Quintos, ABS-CBN News