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Campaigners accuse government of failing whistleblowers

A proposed law put forward by the French government is not strong enough to protect whistleblowers and expose conflicts of interest in the pharmaceutical industry, the Science Citizens Foundation campaign group has said.

According to the group, the legislation under consideration by parliament was supposed to introduce protections for experts and whistleblowers in the sector in a bid to promote transparency. However, the law as it stands does not change the status quo, it argues.

The government is revising the laws surrounding medicine regulation following the scandal over pharmaceutical firm Servier’s drug Mediator.

The diabetes drug was said to have caused hundreds of deaths when used off-label as a weight-loss treatment. The scandal raised questions about whether conflicts of interest and Servier’s political influence had allowed the drug to stay on the market long after alarm bells were raised about its safety.

The foundation plans to publish its own proposals on protecting whistleblowers on 14 October.