Keyword: Irène Frachon

The whistleblowing doctor who took on French pharma giant over 'killer' drug

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Pulmonologist Irène Frachon who exposed the devastating effects of the drug Mediator. © Charles Platiau/Reuters Pulmonologist Irène Frachon who exposed the devastating effects of the drug Mediator. © Charles Platiau/Reuters

A trial opened in Paris on Monday centred on one of France’s biggest-ever pharmaceutical scandals, so vast and involving so many people that it is expected to last up to seven months. French pharmaceutical firm Servier is accused of hiding the killer side effects of its drug Mediator, a treatment for type-2 diabetes patients, but which was widely prescribed as an appetite suppressant. Up to 2,000 patients are estimated to have died from pulmonary and heart disease caused by Mediator, the dangers of which the drug safety authorities, several of whose members are also standing trial, turned a blind eye to. The scandal was revealed ten years ago by pulmonologist Irène Frachon, whose dogged investigations have seen her ostracised by many in the medical establishment. She talks about her campaign and its aftermath in this interview with Rozenn Le Saint.

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