« I stop, I understood. I stare at the night through my window for hours, people drowning before my eyes, nobody can see them, only me. Crying now does not help. It has been 30 years… »
« Médiator 150mg, Combien de morts ? » Editions-dialogues.
It was during a February evening of 2009, looking through medical files of patients with open-heart surgery treated on their heart valves in the Brest hospital that it become certain that all their sickness and suffering was caused by the poisoning through the Médiator. I had already understood that the Médiator, derived from amphetamine was an appetite suppressor, falsely sold by the Servier laboratory as antidiabetic drug.
In those medical files, I discovered difficult life stories of people, after having been treated for insignificant symptoms but with the so-called adjuvant medicament Médiator.
Stories of sudden breathlessness, pulmonary oedema, progressive depletion within years or even months, sometimes necessitating mutilating surgery, which amputated the heart from its valves, and replacing them with palliative prostheses. Life running through ones fingers, while the heart is failing…
More than 10 years have passed since the revelation of the scandal. Millions of victims have been identified in France, hundreds of which had to undergo heart surgery, as well as people who did not survive. A huge criminal trial has been announced to judge the guilt of stakeholders, notably the Servier laboratory, but also French health authorities.
For 10 long years, Servier has failed to accept responsibility for this tragedy, and has tried with every legal way to escape paying a fair compensation to the victims. During all these years, I have accompanied thousands of victims through this strenuous journey, have met many of them personally, but most are only names on paper. Beyond the medical files, I have always tried to imagine their faces, their origins, their broken lives.
Marc Dantan, showing exemplary artistic sensibility, invited me to join him on this unusual Tour de France, roaming through what we have called « la France du Médiator ». The results are moving and I feel deep gratitude towards these victims that have shown their faces and injuries, to attest their existence and their dignity, both too long scorned.
Together with them, we await justice.