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Sanofi force-fed Dengvaxia to PH – Gordon

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Regardless of initial findings on the negative implications of a mass immunization of Dengvaxia, its manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur was out to insist on inking a deal with the government in acquiring from them billions of pesos worth of its anti-dengue vaccine.

“I feel that Sanofi, as much as I respect your company, was really a microwave, was really a supersonic high performance engine that was really trying to push your product down our throats. In other words, it was being force-fed upon my country. I’m sorry that’s how I feel,” Sen. Richard Gordon, blue ribbon committee chair and lead prober in the Senate on the Dengevaxia mess, told Sanofi Asia Pacific head Thomas Triomphe.

“That’s not the case your honor but I understand that’s how you feel,” Triomphe said.

US-based scientist Dr. Scott Halstead who did an extensive research on dengue and dengue vaccines for over five decades now, claimed that his study which saw print in March 2016 showed that Dengvaxia should be administered to seronegative individuals or those who have not been infected with the mosquito-borne virus.

But when he called the attention of Sanofi, he was instead rebutted saying that his study lacked basis.

It was only in Nov. 29, 2017 when Sanofi acceded, not to his position but that of a finding of an independent body which confirmed that Halstead has been right all along.

Asked by Gordon when Sanofi realized that what Halstead was saying was true, Triomphe initially gave a detailed narration only to tell the senator later on that it was only in Nov. last year.

“This research that’s called the new analysis findings was that looked at by IDMC which is the independent data monitoring committee and it came to the conclusion,” Triomphe said, referring to the risks of Dengvaxia.

“IDMC is independent of Sanofi, experts from all over the world that are reading the data, giving the advice and we go with the IDMC position in Nov. 2016,” he added.

Immediately after, the Sanofi executive said they engaged with the Department of Health (DOH) along with the international regulatory agencies and we made the statement in Nov. 2017.

“So we acted on it, to actually develop the test, to differentiate further between seronegative and seropositive even after vaccination and these findings came in early Nov, 2017.So we actually acted on it,” Triomphe said.

By then an estimated 368,000 had already been administered the vaccines by the government, 10% of which are feared to be at risk of severe dengue.