Tech & Science Levothyrox: the Merck laboratory ordered to pay 1,000 euros to each of the 3,329 plaintiffs

16:50  25 june  2020
16:50  25 june  2020 Source:   lemonde.fr

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The Merck laboratory has just been forced to deliver to 25 patients residing in Haute-Garonne the old formula of Levothyrox , known as Euthyrox in Europe. In case of refusal, the German pharmaceutical laboratory will be forced to pay each of the patients concerned 10, 000 euros per day, according to

The report - entitled " Levothyrox New and Old Formulations: Are they Switchable for Millions of Despite this, Merck maintained that the two formulas were “bioequivalent”, meaning that This, the study found, had an impact on how much of the levothyroxine could be absorbed by each patient, as

The Lyon Court of Appeal recognized on Thursday that the pharmaceutical company had committed "a fault" when the formula for its treatment was changed.

The Lyon Court of Appeal recognized on Thursday 25 June that Merck had committed “a fault” when the formula for his Levothyrox treatment was changed and ordered the pharmaceutical company to pay 1,000 euros to each of the complainants under “ non-pecuniary damage ”, announced their lawyer, Christophe Leguevaques.

The appeal body "declared the civil parties' appeal admissible and (…) found that Merck had committed a fault. The court considers that there has been non-pecuniary damage suffered by all the parties, "said the plaintiffs' lawyer. Merck’s chief legal officer Florent Bensadoun said the decision was "completely incomprehensible" and said the company would appeal to the court.

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LEVOTHYROX - Breaking News. Lundi 22 juin 2020 à 10h00 - Plaidoirie devant la Cour administrative d'appel de PARIS pour savoir si le ministre de la santé peut ou non réquisitionner la fabrication de LEVOTHYROX ancienne formule (auprès de l'usine de Bourgoin-Jallieu).

At first instance, in March 2019, the complainants had been dismissed, the Lyon judges ruling out any fault of the German laboratory Merck, whose French headquarters is in Lyon, in the launch of the new Levothyrox in 2017, which its users accused of causing multiple side effects.

Convinced, on the contrary, that the pharmaceutical group had misinformed them, 3,329 patients suffering from side effects appealed - around 800 abandoned the procedure - and claimed 10,000 euros in compensation each, or 33 million in total.

Levothyrox: why Merck was zealous in the evaluation of the new formula

The new formula of the drug prescribed against hypothyroidism, modifying some of its excipients in order to bring more stability to the product, was accused, between March 2017 and April 2018, by some 31,000 patients suffering from headaches, insomnia, dizziness, etc.

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&cadI' paid Merck ht:l.ndredl.l ofmilliolm ofdollars for a v.wcine that does not provide adequate. the U.S. Merck currently sellil more than JroVen million doses of the vaccine in the U.S. annually. t6. The use ofrabbit antibodies in laboratory testing is not uncommon.

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During the appeal trial, the pharmaceutical company kept the same line of defense as in the first instance and reiterated that it could not directly inform patients - advertising of medicines to the general public is not allowed.

Two and a half million patients

In June 2019, the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) published the results of a pharmacoepidemiology study carried out on more than two million patients, according to which the switch to the new Levothyrox formula did not cause "serious health problems".

The harmful effects of Levothyrox have been minimized by experts and authorities

According to Merck, some 2.5 million patients use the new formula of Levothyrox, "less than 100,000" people taking the old formula imported since late 2017 under the name of Euthyrox. Five alternative levothyroxine medications are also available on the market.

France was the first country where this formula was introduced. Since then, it has been in fifteen countries of the European Union, without difficulties, ensures Merck. For the laboratory, reports of adverse reactions to the new formula are now "normal and comparable to the old".

The case is also the subject of criminal proceedings against X investigated by the health center of the Marseille tribunal de grande instance for alleged acts of aggravated deception, homicide and involuntary injuries and endangerment of the lives of others.

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