DOH takes first step in suing Sanofi


Posted at Feb 06 2018 10:48 AM | Updated as of Aug 07 2019 05:07 PM

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The Department of Health on Tuesday said it will study if a possible violation of the Civil Code could lay the foundation for its planned legal action against Sanofi Pasteur, the French drug maker of controversial dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
The DOH has threatened to sue Sanofi for refusing to fully refund the P3.5 billion it spent on Dengvaxia, which the firm said could worsen dengue in some cases.

"Pag-uusapan namin ng abogado namin at titingnan iyung option kung puwede nang sampahan ng kaso based on violation of a provision ng Civil Code," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told DZMM.

(We will consult our lawyer and consider if we can file a case based on the violation of a provision in the Civil Code.)

"Sinasabi kasi sa provision, ito yung produkto, sinabi ninyo na effective itong produkto -- iyun pala, may depekto... Dahil kung alam naming may ganoon depekto, either hindi ganoong halaga binili ang produkto o hindi binili."

(The provision concerns cases where firms say their product is effective, but it turns out to be defective. If we knew about the defect, we would not have paid the same amount for the product or we would not have purchased it at all.)

The previous Aquino administration rolled out the program to vaccinate 830,000 school children with Dengvaxia.

Sanofi, however, revealed late last year that the vaccine could lead to worse symptoms if given to those who have not had the mosquito-borne illness before.

The firm has declined the government demand for a full refund and an indemnification fund, saying there is no evidence directly linking the vaccine to any of the 14 alleged deaths of Dengvaxia recipients.

DZMM, 6 February 2018