What the Sanofi saga tells us about the state of France's industrial strategy

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Though staff at Sanofi have tried hard to find an explanation, they still do not understand. Or rather, they understand all too well the direction taken by the giant French pharmaceutical group. After the setback in its plans for a Covid-19 vaccine – put back to the end of 2021 at best – it seemed the obvious time for management at the multinational to query the wisdom of its decisions about the future role of essential research. But there was to be no change of plan.