A powerful French pharmaceutical company that made a diet pill suspected of causing the deaths of 2,000 people will face manslaughter charges in a landmark trial starting Monday. Servier will also face deceit charges over its Mediator diet pill, which was meant to treat overweight diabetics but was often prescribed as an appetite suppressant to healthy French women who wanted to lose a few pounds. The Guardian reports the company is accused of covering up the deadly side effects of the drug. Separately, the French drug regulator is accused of leniency in not acting to prevent the deaths. At least five million people were prescribed the drug between 1976 and 2009, even though it was suspected of causing heart and pulmonary failure. The six-month trial will include testimony from 21 defendants and more than 2,600 plaintiffs.
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