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Drug company Servier is found guilty of manslaughter and aggravated deceit over Mediator diabetes drug

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 31 March 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n873
  1. Barbara Casassus
  1. Paris

The French drug manufacturer Laboratoires Servier has been found guilty of manslaughter, involuntary injury, and aggravated deceit regarding a weight loss drug, Mediator.

The diabetes drug, which was withdrawn from the market in 2009 after 33 years, was widely prescribed as an appetite suppressant and is alleged to have caused hundreds of deaths in one of France’s worst ever health scandals.

On 29 March Servier was found guilty of manslaughter, involuntary injury, and aggravated deceit, but it was acquitted for fraud. The company was fined the legal maximum of €2.7m (£2.3m; $3.2m) for concealing the drug’s risks, and it was ordered to pay victims an estimated €160m in compensation.

Servier’s former deputy chief, Jean-Philippe Seta, was given a four year suspended jail sentence. Its founder, Jacques Servier, died in 2014. The French medicines agency ANSM was fined €303 000 for having “seriously failed in its health policing mission” by delaying the …

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