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Mon Sep 23, 2019, 07:51 AM

Trial Over Weight-Loss Pill That Killed 2,000 People Begins In France: Servier Pharma

Trial over weight-loss pill behind 'up to 2,000 deaths' opens in France. French drug watchdog along with pharmaceutical firm Servier on trial over Mediator drug scandal. The Guardian, Sept. 23, 2019.

A landmark trial over one of France’s biggest healthcare scandals has begun after a weight-loss pill was believed to have killed up to 2,000 people and left many more injured for life. The trial for manslaughter and deceit will attempt to lift the lid on France’s massive pharmaceuticals industry. Servier, one of France’s biggest and most powerful privately-owned laboratories, is accused of covering up the killer side-effects of a widely prescribed drug called Mediator. The French state drug regulator is accused of lenience and not acting to prevent patient deaths and injuries.

The Mediator pill was an amphetamine derivative marketed to overweight diabetics but it was often prescribed to healthy women as an appetite suppressant if they wanted to lose a few pounds. Even healthy, slim and sporty women were prescribed it by their doctors who advised they should take it in order to avoid weight gain.

As many as 5 million people were given the drug between 1976 and 2009, despite the fact that it was suspected of causing heart and pulmonary failure. The health ministry found at least 500 people died of heart valve trouble in France because of exposure to Mediator’s active ingredient, but other estimates by doctors put the figure closer to 2,000. Thousands more live with debilitating health problems. Some women, who began taking the drug while in good health, found themselves unable to climb a flight of stairs and were left with permanent cardiovascular problems that limited their daily lives. Servier has paid out almost €132m (£116m) in compensation.

The trial will seek to establish why the drug was on the market for so long in France. Lawyers argue that Servier laboratory deliberately misled patients for decades, helped by lenient authorities. The drugmaker has been accused of making at least €1bn from the drug, while knowing of its dangers...More...


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Reply Trial Over Weight-Loss Pill That Killed 2,000 People Begins In France: Servier Pharma (Original post)
appalachiablue Sep 2019 OP
hlthe2b Sep 2019 #1
appalachiablue Sep 2019 #2

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 08:22 AM

1. Active ingredient is Benfluorex, derivative of fenfluramine (which combined with phentermine

caused our "fen-phen" heart issues about 15 or so years ago and banned (fenfluramine in 1997)

Given our similar episode, I'am really shocked it stayed on the market for so long (and no, I won't buy into any premise that our FDA and medical community somehow being so much better than that in Europe. It simply is not, especially in recent years).

Sadly, some lessons have to be learned more than once.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 08:42 AM

2. Wow, the same stuff, lasted this long & caused so many deaths..

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