Sanofi Pasteur optimistic Dengvaxia will be restored in PH market

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 15, 2019   •   1279

French Pharmaceutical firm, Sanofi Pasteur expressed optimism that the Dengvaxia vaccine will be restored in the Philippine market.

In a statement, Sanofi Pasteur Philippines General Manager Jean Antoine Zinsou said they are open for a discussion with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health (DOH).

He also clarified that Dengvaxia is safe and effective to use.

According to Zinsou, the said vaccine was only banned in the Philippines because of incomplete documents or due to “administrative consideration.”

“We definitely need to settle this issue. One way to do it is to discuss with FDA and see what is needed to have this revocation lifted,” he said.

Zinsou also said Dengvaxia is registered in 20 countries across the globe and is acknowledged by the United States Food Drug Administration and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Meanwhile, Sanofi agrees with the DOH that Dengvaxia is not a solution to the Dengue epidemic in the country.

READ: Dengvaxia won’t bring dengue cases down – DOH

“The vaccines that we are mentioning is not a solution or a silver bullet for the ongoing outbreak. We are open to any discussion with the health authorities to see what is needed, what do they need for the future,” Zinsou said.

In February this year, the FDA revoked the certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia.

Sanofi already filed an appeal two weeks ago and the DOH will release their decision on the issue on August 19.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH confirms second polio case in Philippines

Robie de Guzman   •   September 20, 2019

DOH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Rotary International’s 10 Districts to heighten polio awareness and vaccination campaign in light of the reemergence of poliomyelitis in the country. (Courtesy: Department of Health)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday confirmed a second case of polio a day after it announced the re-emergence of the disease in the country after nearly 20 years.

In a statement, the DOH said that a five-year old boy from Laguna is the second confirmed case of the highly infectious disease after his samples sent to the Japan National Institute for Infectious Diseases tested positive for polio virus.

The department said the latest case was reported to be from an immunocompromised child who is suffering from multiple pediatric diseases.

The boy experienced the onset of paralysis last August 25. He has discharged from the hospital and is able to walk. He is closely being monitored for residual symptoms. 

On Thursday, the DOH confirmed that the first case of polio was a three-year old girl from Lanao del Sur.

Poliovirus was detected in water sewage samples taken from Manila and Davao during a regular environmental surveillance.

Its re-emergence in two different locations has prompted officials to declare a polio outbreak.

The DOH said there is no cure for polio and it can only be prevented with multiple doses of polio vaccines that have long been proven safe and effective.

“We continue to urge parents and caregivers of children below five years old, health workers, and local chief executives to take part in the synchronized polio vaccination to be scheduled in their communities,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III was quoted saying in the statement.

He added that this is the only way to stop the spread of this debilitating, and sometimes fatal, disease.

The health chief earlier said that the government is set to launch a series of synchronized oral polio immunization program for children under the age of five in areas at risk beginning October.

The department will also work with partners to strengthen environmental and Acute Flaccid Paralysis surveillance throughout the country to detect poliovirus.

“We are also reiterating our advisory to the public to practice good personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly, to use toilets, drink safe water, and to cook food thoroughly,” he said.

FDA orders DOH-controlled hospitals to report vape-related injuries

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 11, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered Department of Health (DOH)-controlled hospitals to report cases that are related to using vape.

This was after health officials in the United Stated confirmed on Tuesday (September 10) that a 50-year-old man died of lung disease linked to vape use.

According to Dr. Anton Javier, project manager of Product Research and Standards Development Division Center for Cosmetics in the FDA, they might not monitor any illnesses related to using vape just yet because of the latency period.

“Because of the latency period nga po baka po wala pa tayo makita just yet. Pwede po kasing nagve-vape ka ngayon pero iyong mga magiging sakit niyo down the line pa, (Because of the latency period, we might not see [incidence] just yet. You can actually use vape now but your illness might appear down the line)” he said.

However, an expert said the confirmed case in the United States should not be a cause of alarm.

“It’s been well proven by laboratories in the US that deaths in Kansas whatever it is, has got nothing to do with e-cigarettes its what these people has put in e cigarettes that contains adulterated contaminants of cannabis,” according to Harm Reduction Expert Dr. Tikki Pang.

The FDA had previously released a regulation on using vape or e-cigarettes. Manufacturers or retailers were given until October 25 to register their products to the FDA.

The FDA has also warned against the dangers of the chemicals found in vape products. This include cynemaldehide which causes blockage in the lungs which can lead to difficulty in breathing.

Another dangerous chemical, according to the FDA, is diacetyl which causes bronchylitis or inflammation of the lungs.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

DOST eyes research-based techs to address dengue problem

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 5, 2019

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) wants to look into research-based technologies to address the dengue problem in the country.

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said the department has funded several research projects and programs to aid in addressing the different aspects of the disease.

“Through the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, we have funded a number of research projects and programs consistent with the multi-prong approach in the control of dengue that address different aspects such as diagnosis and treatment,” he said.

One of the researches supported by the DOST is the Biotek M which is a rapid diagnostic test for dengue. This kit can diagnose dengue as early as two to three days after the onset of illness.

They are also looking into a possible herbal medicine for dengue.

“Dengue research and development has always been one of the priority research areas in the country. This is stated in the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda led by the DOST,” said Sec. de la Peña.—AAC

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