In my last blog post, I told you about Dr Irène Frachon’s heroic effort to get the dangerous diabetes drug Mediator banned in France. But the withdrawal of Mediator wasn’t the end of the story – just the end of the first chapter. Because she was so horrified that no information about the drug’s deadly side effects was given to people who had been taking it, Dr Frachon wrote a book revealing her findings.
That’s when the unpleasant and threatening e-mails started. And her department’s research funding was suddenly cut. Servier, the manufacturer of Mediator, took her to court and her book was banned. Dr Frachon was under enormous pressure from all sides. But she stuck to her guns.
Eventually, her book was reinstated on appeal. In 2010, a study carried out by Dr Frachon and her colleagues into Mediator and heart valve disease was published in a major scientific journal.1 Soon after, what was to become France’s biggest pharmaceutical scandal erupted in the media, it prompted the resignation of the head of the French public health agency. And, after a long court case, in 2015 Servier was found guilty of negligence by marketing their “defective” medicine.
Even so, the compensation awarded to some of the surviving victims of Mediator was only a few thousand euros – just a drop in the ocean when compared to Servier’s massive profits. And nothing can compensate for the 1300 to 1800 people estimated to have died from heart valve disease in France as a result of taking Mediator – a figure that could run to hundreds of thousands worldwide.
The full extent of the wall of silence about Mediator is still being uncovered – criminal proceedings involving corruption, collusion and complicity against various people and bodies associated with the scandal have now been launched, with the first cases due to be heard in 2018. All this, thanks to one woman’s courage.
Most of Mediator’s victims weren’t even ill to start with – they took it “off label” for weight loss. Another way many people attempt to lose weight is by replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. But new research reveals that one such sweetener, Aspartame, not only causes weight gain but could also lead to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. More on this in my next blog post.Wishing you the best of health,
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth
Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
1. Frachon I, Etienne Y, Jobic Y, Le Gal G, Humbert M, Leroyer C. Benfluorex and unexplained valvular heart disease: a case-control study. PLoS One. 2010; 5(4):e10128.
Category: Diabetes News Views