(Natural News) How would you feel if a beloved family member died because of the greed of a pharmaceutical company that knowingly continued marketing a deadly drug for 30 years after they found out it could kill people? That is the position of the families of nearly 2,300 French patients who died after using the drug benfluorex – marketed in France under the name Mediator – to treat diabetes. The drug’s history is shrouded in a veil of corruption and cover-ups, but the French government is now pursuing pharma giant Servier to the full extent of the law.
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is reporting that criminal charges have been laid against Servier itself, French regulatory bodies that looked the other way while Mediator continued to kill people, companies affiliated to Servier, and 14 individuals directly involved in the fraud.
The French government forced Servier to withdraw Mediator from the market back in 2009, but after 33 years of being widely available, the damage had already been done.
While clinical studies indicated that benfluorex had a potentially beneficial effect on glycemic control and insulin resistance, making it an attractive option as a diabetes medication, several other studies confirmed that it is directly linked to an increased risk of valvular heart disease.
Then, in 2011, regulatory organization Inspection Générale des Affaires Sociales (IGAS) compiled a 260-page report on the many ways in which this drug harmed people, as well as the massive cover-up involved in its staying on the market for three decades.