French politicians of both the right and left are facing severe embarrassment and legal recriminations with the forthcoming publication of an official report on what could become the worst health scandal in the country’s history.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has promised “the most complete transparency” on how a drug which is now suspected to have killed up to 2,000 people was officially approved, and subsidised, for 33 years by the French health service.

Despite repeated warnings from scientists in France and abroad, the Mediator drug was prescribed to 5,000,000 French people, originally to fight diabetes and later as an appetite-suppressing, slimming pill. A report from the French health inspectorate, due in mid-January, will investigate why successive French health ministers, of the left and right, failed to heed advice that the drug – produced by the French pharmaceutical giant, Servier – was at best useless, and at worst highly dangerous.”

Hmmm, I wonder if that would have happened in a free market where people were encouraged to choose their provider and be well-informed about their options. I suppose, though, this might be the lazy consequence of when government gets in bed with corporations and legislates their interests. When healthcare was being passed, I was naturally most concerned about the atrophying of rights and choices. With this French news, though, I wonder if the age of watchdogs be trounced as well! Will programs like Obamacare manifest in a similar sense of apathy and an acceptance of government choices? Will we have headlines like the French in thirty years?

Seemingly more importantly to the press, Lady Gaga was shopping pant-less in Paris earlier this week.


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