Garin halts testing of supposed anti-dengue drug; says it’s ‘nothing personal’

By , on January 7, 2015

DOH Acting Sec. Garin (PNA Photo)
DOH Acting Sec. Garin (PNA Photo)

MANILA – Taking her cue from the advice of experts, acting Health Secretary Janette Garin is standing by her decision to suspend the testing of drugs which will reportedly treat dengue cases.

Garin said that her decision on the matter was not motivated by any issues with former Health Secretary Enrique Ona, who ordered the testing. She clarified that she is acting on the opinion of experts, who have suggested further investigation into the treatment, and cautioned against testing

“It is my obligation to look after the welfare of the public,” Garin told reporters on Tuesday.

“I do respect Secretary Ona as a senior colleague and as a senior medical practitioner. However, I cannot allow that relationship to supersede … a bigger obligation,” she added.
Garin also noted that the fate of the program will be determined by a probe which the Department of Health has launched, and that the drugs – which are meant to treat malaria – should have never been tested on children, in the first place.

“You don’t just test it on children and on people without science, without scientific basis,” she said.

“My decision to suspend the study was not a personal decision,” Garin said. “It was based on facts and it was based on reliable reports from experts,” she stated; adding that health authorities from the World Health Organization would soon further expound on the situation.