500 deaths from diabetes drug mediator?

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French study: 500 deaths from diabetes drug mediator?

A diabetes drug that was also used as an appetite suppressant for overweight people could be responsible for the deaths of around 500 patients, according to a study by the regulatory agency for the safety of medicines.

The "Mediator" diabetes medication from the French pharmaceutical company Servier, which is also used as an appetite suppressant in France, is said to have serious health side effects, according to a study by the supervisory authority for the safety of medicines. In the past thirty years, around 3,500 hospital admissions have been required as a result of taking the preparation, and the use of "mediator" has been fatal for 500 patients.

Contained active ingredient Benfluorex banned since 2009 According to the study, the active ingredient Benfluorex, which was withdrawn from the European drug agency in Europe in 2009, is particularly dangerous. The agency was prompted to ban the patient due to the massive negative side effects in patients with a heart valve malfunction. “Mediator” has also been banned in France since last November. In Germany, however, the preparation was never approved by the regulatory authorities.

Five million people took questionable medication In view of the latest study results, French health minister Xavier Bertrand has called on all patients who have taken the diabetes medication in the past for more than three months to report to their family doctor. According to estimates by the health authorities, the preparation launched by the pharmaceutical company Servier as a diabetes medicine as early as 1979 took a total of around five million people, with "mediator" often being prescribed as an appetite suppressant for overweight people. The composition of the preparation is similar to another Servier drug that had to be withdrawn from the market in 1997.

Pharmaceutical company Servier doubts the study results The pharmaceutical company Servier denies all such negative side effects of its product and doubts the current study results. "These are conclusions from hypotheses," said a spokesman for the company. If Servier would admit that the studies may be factual, the company would also have a legal problem. Because there are already numerous complaints from patients before the competent French courts. The amount of damage in the room and the concern of the group before a judicial defeat are correspondingly high. So Servier has no interest in confirming the results of such negative studies and thus possibly burdening himself in court.

Opposition suspects lobbying France's political opposition is now excited about the current study results. MEP Gérard Bapt described the events as a scandal in the French healthcare system and said that it was impossible to understand why France had not previously banned the drug like other countries. "Did you perhaps want to protect the interests of the French Servier laboratory?" Was the accusing question of the opposition man against the newspaper "Le Parisien". (fp, 11/17/2010)

Also read:
Compensatory payments for diabetes drug Avandia
Diabetes is not a fate
Avandia diabetes drug suspected of having a heart attack

Image: Rainer Sturm / pixelio.de

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