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Pharma Company Servier Found Responsible in Deadly Drug Scandal

Oct. 22, 2015
In 2007 the company's diabetes drug Mediator was linked to hundreds of deaths. It was later banned in France, U.S., Spain and Italy.

Eight years after a scandal erupted over a diabetes drug linked to hundreds of deaths, a French court on October 22 found pharmaceutical firm Servier responsible for having left "defective" medicine on the market.

The court found that at the time the medicine was prescribed to two victims suing Servier over heart problems allegedly linked to the Mediator drug, "the state of scientific knowledge meant the risks of pulmonary hypertension" and heart valve damage "could not be ignored."

"The mere suspicion of such risks" should have forced the French company "to inform patients and health professionals."

The health scandal erupted in 2007 when doctor Irene Frachon gave the alert on heart risks linked to Mediator, which was destined for overweight people with diabetes but was also widely prescribed to others as an appetite-suppressant.

The drug was later banned in France, where millions of people took it. It is also banned in the United States, Spain and Italy.

This is the first time that a court has found Servier responsible in the scandal.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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