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Courts order consolidation of Dengvaxia cases

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SIX Regional Trial Court (RTC) branches have ordered the consolidation of 11 cases against Sanofi Pasteur Inc. filed by families of children whose deaths were linked to the company’s Dengvaxia vaccine.

The March 31 court orders stated that they will act on a Motion to Consolidate the cases filed by Chief Persida V. Rueda-Acosta of the Public Attorneys Office (PAO). The cases will be consolidated before Branch 226 of the Quezon City RTC.

“(T)he consolidation for trial of the instant case will avoid the possibility of having conflicting decisions on cases of similar nature arising from the same series of events and to be proven by substantially the same evidence; a situation that is inimical to the orderly administration of justice,” reads the order by Branch 84 of San Mateo, Rizal, which handled two of the eleven cases being consolidated.

Last month, Branch 226 dismissed a petition by Sanofi and distributor Zuellig Pharma Corp. to dismiss a case filed by parents of Abbie Hedia, who died due to complications linked to the anti-dengue vaccine.

The Dengvaxia vaccine was first rolled out as part of a national immunization program on the watch of then president Benigno S.C. Aquino III and health secretary Janette L. Garin. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permanently revoked the registration of Dengvaxia in December 2018 last year, citing Sanofi’s noncompliance in submitting needed documents. — Gillian M. Cortez

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