1300 people dead: France's drug regulator in firing line

At least 1320 people have died and 3100 have been hospitalised in France alone due to taking benfluorex (Mediator, Servier) according to epidemiologists from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

The drug, a fenfluramine derivative, was marketed as an adjunct agent to treat hyperlipidaemia but widely used as an appetite suppressant from 1976 to 2009 when it was withdrawn from the market.

In echoes of the infamous fen-phen episode in the US in the 1990s, benfluorex, an amphetamine-based compound, was found to cause cardiac valvular insufficiency in 2003 in Spain, leading to its withdrawal

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