French medical watchdog 'slow to act over faulty breast implant scandal'

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Mediapart has seen a confidential internal document that criticises France's medical watchdog for not reacting fast enough to fears that thousands of women were being fitted with sub-standard breast implants made by French company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP). The report, written by an employee of the agency, claims that it could have prevented up to 10,000 women from having the implants, which posed a risk of rupturing and damaging their health. The agency insists it has nothing to hide and strongly denies removing any damaging details from its own official report into its handling of the affair. Michel de Pracontal reports.

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The French medical watchdog the Agence nationale pour la sécurité du médicament (ANSM) could have prevented thousands of women from having sub-standard breast implants made by French company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) had it reacted more quickly. That is the damning verdict of an internal report at the agency – then called Afssaps – written by a member of staff and which has been seen by Mediapart.