French drug maker Servier is currently on trial accused of misleading patients and authorities about a diabetes drug which was often prescribed for weight loss. The drug at the centre of the debacle is Mediator that was officially licensed as a diabetes treatment but was commonly prescribed as an appetite suppressant. Officials have blamed at least 500 deaths as a result of Mediator causing heart valve disorders. French authorities are also under scrutiny as the drug was only withdrawn from the French market in 2009, a decade after being removed from markets in Spain, Italy and the United States.
Servier’s founder and president, Jacques Servier, and four other executives risk jail time of up to four years plus fines. Servier and its subsidiary Biopharma also face fines and the possibility of being banned from some activities.
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