The NY Times reported on December 12, 2011 that the drug Mediator prescribed to an estimated five million French patients for weight loss, has been linked to severe heart damage. This drug was manufactured by Laboratoroires Servier. It has been estimated that as many as 2000 people died, and many more hospitalized with cardiac valve damage and pulmonary hypertension related to this drug. There is evidence that the company knew of the danger, but failed to warn the public.
The article discusses the fact that the French government has a permissive policy with regard to its drug manufacturers and there is little regulation. Furthermore, in France there is no class action law or strong tort system which permits adequate recovery. Therefore, French drug companies do not have a strong deterrent against putting unsafe drugs on the market.
This is an example of what can happen if our regulatory and tort system is emasculated, as many Republicans in Congress are seeking to do. Regulation and recovery for damages in civil cases are necessary to prevent dangerous products from being place in the marketplace. Lives are at stake.