PH ambassador to France: Garin met with Sanofi Pasteur officials in Paris

Image from Malacañang Palace
  • PH envoy said former health chief met with drug manufacturer officials in Paris two years ago
  • She claimed Garin reportedly discussed pricing and marketing of Dengvaxia to PH

MANILA, Philippines – Did something bloom between former health secretary Janette Garin and officials of Sanofi Pasteur in Paris?

Contrary to Garin’s official denial that she met with Sanofi officials during her Paris trip in 2015, a dispatch by the Philippines’ Ambassador to France Ma. Theresa Lazaro claimed that the ex-health chief indeed wined and dined with the drug manufacturer’s top honchos in May of that year.

The bigwigs reportedly included Guillaume Leroy, Vice President of Sanofi-Pasteur’s Dengue Vaccine Program, Jean-Antoine Zinsou, Sanofi-Pasteur’s Senior Director for Vaccination Policy and Advocacy, and Ching Santos, the company’s Country Manager in the Philippines.

Lazaro said Garin supposedly talked about Dengvaxia’s pricing and marketing in the Philippines.

“Secretary Garin inquired on the prices of the vaccine,” ABS-CBN quoted her report as saying. “She stated that it may be too expensive for the Philippine government to fully cover the cost of the 3-dose vaccine.”

After being told that Sanofi will finalize its pricing for the Philippine market by June, Garin then also reportedly suggested having the private sector help spearhead demand for the drug in order for it to be included in the Department of Health’s vaccination program.

“A private launch and widespread ‘private use’ will create a demand for the vaccine, and will thus pave the way for the Department of Health to include it in the succeeding years’ budget,” she said.

Lazaro added that the day after their dinner, Sanofi officials toured Garin and her entourage in their Neuville Dengue Facility.

In a May 2017 interview, Garin confirmed that she indeed went to Paris but stressed she met with her French counterpart.

She also said she indeed went to Sanofi’s dengue facility but explained she wanted technical expertise in a bid to have the country develop its own vaccine manufacturing plant.

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