House Leader Pushes Sanofi to Set Up Indemnity Fund

Manila Bulletin, February 4, 2018 | Go to article overview

House Leader Pushes Sanofi to Set Up Indemnity Fund


By Ellson Quismorio

Surigao del Sur 2nd district Rep. Johnny Pimentel today pressed French multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi S.A. to heed the request of the Department of Health (DOH) to put up a financial reserve for Filipino families because of its faulty anti-dengue vaccine.

"It is high time for Sanofi to comply with Health Secretary Francisco Duque's request for an indemnity fund to pay for the treatment of Filipino students rendered sick after receiving Dengvaxia shots," said Pimentel, chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability.

The Mindanao lawmaker made this remark ahead of his panel's reopening of the House probe on the previous administration's controversial 2015 purchase of some P3.5-billion worth of Dengvaxia vaccines tomorrow.

It will take place amid the backdrop of mounting cases of Dengvaxia-related hospitalizations, and in extreme instances, deaths among Filipino children.

"This will be our first hearing since Sanofi released the negative findings of its long-term follow-up study which showed that children who never had dengue but who were given the shots had an increased risk of a severe case and hospitalization from the third year after immunization," Pimentel said.

House Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza filed the new resolution enabling the reopening of the inquiry.

Pimentel earlier warned that officials found liable for the botched purchase of Dengvaxia shots are bound to face graft charges for a transaction "that may be deemed manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government. …

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