Press review

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Victims of Servier's Mediator criticise pharma's 'double-talk'

PARIS, 10 Jan (APM) - The victims of the scandal surrounding Servier's Mediator (benfluorex) have criticised the ''double language'' by which they are criticising the pharma's contradictory behaviour during the compensation procedure, reported L'Humanité on Tuesday (p.15).
A group of patient associations is criticising the apologies the pharmaceutical company is giving to patients during the criminal proceedings, while at the same time continuing to fight the ongoing compensation procedures in front of French authority in charge of compensation of medical accidents, Oniam.
Patients' anger was rekindled after a note written by the pharma's lawyers was sent to Oniam on 18 October 2019, in which the law firm Simmons & Simmons defended Servier's interests in this compensation component.

Hope for Ipsen after bleak 2019

There is a ray of light for Ipsen following a bleak 2019 after its botulin toxin Dysport was approved on Monday in the UK for upper limb spasticity in children, reported Les Echos on Wednesday (p.20) (APMHE 65710).
The news comes just after the announcement that chief executive David Meek was stepping down, the paper noted.
Meek has had a mixed time in office, the economic daily continued, saying that he had benefited from decisions taken by his predecessor, Marc de Garidel, who left in 2016.
His own decisions - including the acquisitions of Clementia at the beginning of 2019 and Onivyde - have not been so successful.
Two clinical trials involving Clementia's lead drug palovarotene were stopped by U.S. health authorities and it is not clear what can be saved.
Onivyde's main drug - for pancreatic cancer - has also had lacklustre results, the paper noted.

Old Levothyrox formula to be withdraw from French market

The old formula of Merck KGaA's Levothyrox (levothyroxine) will no longer be sold in France from September, Le Parisien reported in a brief on Thursday (p.9) (APMHE 65760).
The announcement was given on Wednesday after a meeting of the committee monitoring the thyroid troubles drug. The formula change in 2017 has been accused of causing adverse events such as headaches and vertigo.
According to official figures - 88,000 patients are still taking the old formula - not including those who are buying it from abroad.
La Croix also reports on the subject in a brief on Friday (p.7).

Levothyrox patients appeal decision exonerating Merck

Patients who had adverse events after taking the new formula of Merck KGaA's Levothyrox (levothyroxine) are appealing a decision made in April 2019 clearing the pharma for not providing enough information, reported L'Humanité in a brief (p.15) on Tuesday.
The decision in April 2019 said that the quality and the therapeutic value of the drug's new formula were certain and that the information on the drug notice was sufficiently precise and relevant for the patients concerned.
However, 800 out of the original 3,329 patients disagree and filed an appeal against the decision.
Le Parisien also covered the subject in a brief on Tuesday (p.8) and Thursday (p.12).
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