Sanofi to pay back $27.8 million worth of unused anti-dengue vaccines

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur has recently agreed to pay back $27.8 million worth of unused anti-dengue vaccines on the request of the Philippine government. This agreement comes on the back of the Philippine government fined Sanofi $2,000 and suspended clearance for the French drug maker’s controversial dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, citing violations on product registration and marketing.

Concerns over the dengue immunization of nearly 734,000 children aged nine and above resulted in two Philippine congressional inquiries and a criminal investigation as to how the danger to public health came about. The country ordered Sanofi to stop the sale, distribution and marketing of Dengvaxia after the company last month warned the vaccine could worsen the disease in some cases.

“Sanofi Pasteur has responded positively to the Philippine Department of Health’s (DoH) request that we provide reimbursement for the doses of Dengvaxia that were not used by the government in the public vaccination program,” the company said in a statement to media on Monday.

“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,” it said.

“[The company] 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 said.

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