Somebody needs to be responsible for the deaths of innocent people! We here in the United States call this justice, and it appears that in France, officials are trying to do just that in regards to the deaths of several hundred innocent people.
According to media reports, Magistrates in France are investigating and charging the head of the country’s second-largest drugmaker with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated deception, and fraud.
The head of the French pharmaceutical company Servier Laboratories, Jacques Servier, along with 5 other Servier units are reportedly facing a fraud investigation, including misleading the public about product quality and improperly obtaining authorization for the now-banned diabetes drug Mediator, which has been linked to the deaths of 500 people over the past three decades, Agence France-Presse reported in September.
I know if I was mislead into believing that a product was safe for me, and come to find out it wasn’t, I would want justice too! How about you?!
Judges allege that Jacques Servier engaged in dishonest practices and deception over the drug’s quality and falsely obtained authorization to sell it, his lawyer, Herve Temime, told news outlets.
The investigation by the French national health-insurance organization, CNAM, concluded earlier this year that Mediator, (benfluorex) which was also used off-label as an appetite suppressant, likely caused 500 deaths and at least 3500 hospitalizations for valvular heart disease in France since coming on the market in 1979. Even higher numbers of possible deaths—upward of 2000—have been cited in the press; Servier, according to news reports, denies misleading patients and French authorities and has only recognized 38 deaths “linked to” the drug and just four as having been caused by it.
According to Bloomberg news, Servier’s chair must post bail of €4 million ($5.51 million), and his freedom may be restricted. Reuters notes that Servier must also guarantee possession of a further €6 million before December 15, and five additional companies affiliated with Servier must post €26 million ($36 million), with an additional guarantee of €39 million ($53 million).
The French drug-oversight agency, AFSSAPS (French Agency for Safety of Health Products), has previously issued a safety alert advising patients who took Mediator (benfluorex) for at least three months during the past four years of marketing (2006-2009).
And, the concern now is how many people may be affected by the misleading information, and dangerous product. In hopes to spread a clear message of how important it is to be checked out, the French Health Minister, Xavier Bertrand, said in a news conference, “Our message to all those who took Mediator is that they must see a doctor — particularly those who took it for three months over the past four years.”
Thankfully, the drug was removed from the market in France in 2009, well after other European countries; it was never approved in the US and other markets.
Can someone say it’s about time?! My question is why in the world would it take 30 years to get a dangerous drug off the market? That is absurd, and someone should definitely pay for it.