France: Diabetes drug may be linked to 500 deaths

PARIS - November 16, 2010

France's health products safety agency is advising users of the drug - the brand name for benflourex in France - from 2006 to 2009 to see their doctor to check for possible heart valve problems.

The agency said Tuesday that about 5 million people used Mediator starting in 1976.

The European Medicines Agency pulled benflourex from the market last year, saying it had little effect on diabetes and might lead to a dangerous thickening of heart valves.

In September, European regulators pulled blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia off the market because of alleged links to heart attacks.

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