Diseases for sale
THE 8 NOVEMBER 2011 FROM 20H40
Alarming symptom, the Mediator scandal reveals that economic interests are now taking precedence over public health imperatives. Is our medicine irreversibly marred by marketing? Surveys.
20:40 p.m. - MEDIATOR
HISTORY OF A DRIVER
A rigorous investigation into the Servier laboratory scandal and the conflicts of interest that it revealed at the heart of our health care system.
30 November 2009, the Mediator, created by the group Servier, prescribed in the treatment of diabetes but also sold as appetite suppressant, is withdrawn from the market after thirty-three years. Twelve years earlier, Isomeride, produced by the same laboratory, had been banned because of the pulmonary and cardiac risks induced to the patient. How could Servier have commercialized the Mediator so long, causing 500 to 2 000 dead and causing thousands of patients serious sequelae?
As this investigation shows, on the basis of testimonies and partly unpublished documents, this drug should never have been authorized, the laboratory having since 1976 ignored a study denying its effectiveness. But he is not the only one responsible. While the signs of danger multiplied in the 1990s, the Afssaps (French agency for the safety of health products), infiltrated by the pharmaceutical industry, ignored them. Reimbursed by Social Security at 65%, for a price of 5 euros, the "poor man's appetite suppressant" continued to poison thousands of people. And without the maverick Irène Frachon, pulmonologist at the University Hospital of Brest, who fought two years before the Afssaps to have the medical evidence that she had accumulated recognized, it would still be rife.
TREE AND FOREST
Methodically, Bernard Nicolas and Kader Bengriba (France Telecom, sick to death, broadcast in 2010 by ARTE) explore the long reign of the Mediator. Symbol of a pharmaceutical industry in poor ethics, the scandal gave rise to a reform supposed to open a new era, presented this fall to the Assembly. But as Irène Frachon reminds us, "health democracy" has not yet happened. What other victims hide the Mediator "tree", while medical "accidents" amount to several thousand deaths per year?
Documentary by Bernard Nicolas and Kader Bengriba
(France, 2011, 52mn) ~
Coproduction: ARTE France, Press Impact
21H30 - DEBATE
Animated by Annie-Claude Elkaim.
Guests: Irène Frachon, pulmonologist at the University Hospital of Brest and author of the book "Mediator 150 mg: How many deaths", Michel Labro, Editor-in-Chief of Nouvel Observateur, Markus Grill, investigative journalist specializing in cases of collusion, cronyism, lobbying, corruption in the drug industry in Germany.
21H45 - DISEASES FOR SALE
How the pharmaceutical industry manufactures patients with great marketing support with the complicity of the authorities and doctors.
Until the 1980s, the pharmaceutical industry focused its efforts on curing existing diseases, even if pathologies affecting poor populations, such as malaria, were neglected because they were unprofitable. Now, to guarantee their return on investment and recycle their drugs, companies are inventing pathologies, if possible chronic. Advertising disguised as medical information, coupled with intense lobbying, is responsible for "selling" them to the general public and to practitioners. This film - in which the industry refused to participate - dismantles the mechanisms of a medicine under the influence of the market.
How to increase the consumption of drugs? By lowering the standard of cholesterol, for example, in order to promote molecules which, taken without necessity, carry health risks. Or by detecting in the female population a new form of cyclical depression (the "menstrual dysphoric syndrome"), treated with a recycled version of Prozac. In Japan, depression was a rare condition, but astute strategists popularized the concept of "colds of the soul" and made the market for antidepressants take off. A scathing analysis that allows us to measure, from TV spot to "information" site, the marketing of the diagnosis and its power.
Documentary by Anne Georget (France, 2011, 55mn)
Coauthors: Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen and Anne Georget
Coproduction: ARTE France, The Factory
Video about Arte + 7 http://videos.arte.tv/fr/videos/maladie ... 41432.html
Topic bound on the pick: mediator-drug-which-kills-500-dead-lobbies-kill-t10164.html