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Sanofi charged with manslaughter by French court

Christian Fernsby |
Sanofi has been indicted for manslaughter by French prosecutors over birth defects found in pregnant women who took its drug containing sodium valproate.

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Topics: SANOFI    FRENCH   

The drug also goes by the trade name Depakine, among others, and is used to treat epilepsy, migraines, and bipolar disorder.

In France, the legal system allows that a trial can be prevented from going forward if there is sufficient lack of evidence. Sanofi has already filed a legal challenge to the charges.

The case has been ongoing for years, with the court finding in 1983 that health officials knew about the risk of birth defects and that as early as 2004, an awareness of learning disabilities and autism was present.

The charges focus on studies of approximately 15,000 to 30,000 children of mothers who took the drug while pregnant, resulting in various types of disabilities.

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