PARIS – Jacques Servier, the founder of France’s second-largest pharmaceutical group who became ensnared in a scandal over a diabetes drug widely used for weight loss, has died.
Servier Research Group announced the death of 92-year-old Servier late Wednesday.
Servier and his lab were at the centre of one of France’s biggest health scandals, in which the drug Mediator was alleged to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. The European Medicines Agency pulled Mediator from shelves when it found that its active ingredient, benfluorex, could lead to a dangerous thickening of heart valves. The ingredient is a derivative of fenfluramine, whose use in a diet drug in the U.S. was linked to similar problems.
In a statement, the lab said Servier’s “life revolved around the research of innovative medicines.”