THE Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday, February 21, indicted Iloilo First District Representative Janette Garin and nine other former Department of Health (DOH) officials for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide over the deaths blamed on anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
Justice Assistant Secretary Neal Bainto said the panel of prosecutors, who conducted the preliminary investigation into the second batch of complaints related to Dengvaxia, found probable cause to indict Garin and other officials.
Also indicted were officials of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), and Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur Inc. of France.
In a statement, the DOJ said the panel found evidence to indict the president of Sanofi Pasteur for manufacturing Dengvaxia, which violated the Consumer Act of the Philippines.
“It poses risks to seronegatives, or to those who have not previously contracted the dengue disease,” DOJ said.
“The panel found that the circumstances surrounding the dispensation of the Dengvaxia vaccine made the same a mislabeled drug, and held liable the president of Sanofi and four of its other officers or directors for violating the same Act,” it added.
According to Bainto, the panel found that Garin and other respondent government officials had an “inexcusable lack of precaution” in the fast-tracking of procurement process for Dengvaxia vaccine despite being aware of its low efficacy results.
These were the same findings in an investigation into the first batch of Dengvaxia cases.
The panel also found that respondednt government officials have been reckless when they allowed the purchase of the Dengvaxia vaccine despite its “red flags.”
“The Panel concluded that the accomplishment of the procurement process for the Dengvaxia vaccine, with undue haste, within a limited timeframe, and despite the red flags known to Garin and the other respondents, amounted to Reckless Imprudence,” Bainto said. (SunStar Philippines)