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Teva cleared in French switched drug packaging investigation

The French pharmaceutical authorities head has said that there were no deaths because of the wrong pills packaged in a heart failure treatment.


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/ By Shiri Habib-Valdhorn /

The switched packaging affair in France involving Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) treatments has ended, at least as far as France’s National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (MSNA) is concerned. ANSM has concluded that all possible steps had been taken to protect the health of the patients.
The affair began two weeks ago when it was found that the packaging of drugs for sleep disorder Zopiclone had been switched with Furosemide, a drug for treating heart failure.
In the days that followed suspicions grew that the switched packaging might have been related to a number of deaths. However, ANSM head Dominic Maraninchi has now said, “There are people who died while on Furosemide not because of Furosemide, thankfully. There are no victims.”
Maraninchi added that the inspection of Teva’s factory has been completed and no instances of switched packaging were found. ANSM’s website says that by yesterday 2, 374 packages had been checked (over 70, 000 tablets) and everything was in order. He insisted that everyone taking the medication can carry on doing so without any concerns.
At the same time the police investigation continues. When asked if the switched packaging was deliberate tampering, Maraninchi responded that at this stage all scenarios were being considered.
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