Trial postponed for French maker of drug used for weight loss suspected in hundreds of deaths

PARIS – The trial of makers of a diabetes and weight loss drug suspected in hundreds of deaths has been delayed by presiding judge to allow further investigations.

The decision to postpone the trial over one of France’s biggest recent health scandals will allow for a Paris judge to complete a separate investigation. The judge said a date for resuming the trial of Servier Laboratories and its founder, Jacques Servier, will be set at a hearing May 15, 2014.

Between 1976 and 2009, around 5 million people took Mediator, which was used to treat weight problems among diabetics and also marketed more widely. 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.