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Former Health Secretary Enrique Ona on Wednesday insisted that there was nothing wrong with the controversial anti-dengue drug clinical trials.
"To me it is so absurd na hindi mo ipagpatuloy ito, lahat tayo ngayon naghahanap ng cure it's the same thing as Ebola, naghahanap tayo ng vaccine," Ona said in a GMA News' 24 Oras report on Wednesday.
Acting Health Secretary Janet Garin has said children were among the patients who were in the clinical trial done in Palawan in 2012.
Ona, for his part, claimed that the patients who were among the trial gave their full consent.
He said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug for drug trial testing. The ActRx Triact was not yet for sale so it did not need FDA approval for commercial purpose, he said.
Ona said children were the subjects of the trial as they are the ones who usually gets afflicted with dengue.
The former government official said Garin should thoroughly study the dengue drug trial.
According to Ona, ActRx Triact is from herbal medicines that were proven effective against Malaria and Dengue.
He said the drug underwent pre clinical trial before the clinical trial. There were 300 patients for the first phase of the trial. The trial, however, did not proceed to the second and third phases.
President Benigno Aquino III accepted his resignation, Ona said. He said he will go back to private clinical practice.
Asked if he thinks he was dragged into the issue because of politics, he said: "I don't know how to answer that question. Kung mero'n man, it's all water under the bridge." — Kathryn Tubadeza/ELR, GMA News