Irene Frachon, a lung specialist whose study was instrumental in highlighting the risks of the Servier pill Mediator | AP chennai l tuesday l March 30, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l vellore EDITION French pharma major guilty of involuntary manslaughter Court convicts Servier for deaths caused by Mediator, a drug used for diabetes, weightloss treatment between 1976-2009 damaged heart valves, killed at least 500 banned by u.s, Spain & italy before 2009 In 1999, a study linked the pill with damage of heart valves but Servier continued to push the product till 2009 before pulling it out. A French court said the firm misled consumers on the pill for decades, despite being aware of its side-effects. Experts testified that about 500 people have died due to the drug and the number may exceed 2,100 deaths eventually ■ ■ ■ France’s medicines agency ANSM was fined 303,000 euros for delay in action, despite repeated warnings over its side effects Servier’s former deputy boss sentenced to a suspended jail sentence of four years and fined several million euros in damages Mediator was used by 50 lakh people across the world till 2009 $350 mn settled out of court between patients, insurance firms and the pharma CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Pawar to go under the knife soon WHO’s report in sync with China E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ Mumbai NCP founder Sharad Pawar will soon undergo surgery at a Mumbai hospital here after it was diagnosed that he has some gall bladder issue, a minister of his party in the state government said here on Monday He is 80. . “Our party president Sharad Pawar saheb was feeling a little uneasy due to a pain in his abdomen last evening and was therefore taken to Breach Candy Hospital for a checkup. Upon diagnosis it came to light that he has a problem in his Gall Bladder,” Nawab Malik tweeted. “He is on Blood Thinning Medication which is now being stopped due to this issue. He will be admitted to the hospital on the 31st of March 2021 and an Endoscopy and Surgery will be conducted. Hence all his programmes stand cancelled until further notice,” the minister added. NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said Pawar had a medical check-up at a private hospital after complaining of abdominal pain on Sunday while he was in Ahmedabad. There was intense speculation on Sunday that he had a hush-hush meeting the previous day with Union home minister Amit Shah at a top industrialist’s house in Ahmedabad. While the NCP flatly denied the interaction and blamed it on BJP’s spin doctoring, Shah deflected it, saying not everything is for public consumption. Says Covid’s lab leak extremely unlikely, does not want further probe into the hypothesis A joint World Health Organization-China study on the origins of Covid-19 went with Beijing’s position on the chances of its leak from a Wuhan lab being extremely unlikely and concluded that the most plausible scenario was its transmission from bats to humans through another animal. The report put together by an international team of experts and seen by the Associated Press proposed further research in every area except the lab leak hypothesis. But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said all hypotheses on the origins remained open and needed further study . The report is expected to be made public on Tuesday “We’ve . got real concerns about the methodology and the process that went into that report, including the fact that the government in Beijing apparently helped to write it,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a recent CNN interview. China hit back accusing the US of trying to pressure the WHO experts’ group. The report listed scenarios in the order of likelihood, starting with transmission from bats to another animal, which it said was likely to very likely . On direct spread from bats to humans, experts saw it as likely; while spreading to humans from the packaging of coldchain food products was seen as possible but not likely . S K u m a r e sa n @ Chennai/Ariyalur Youth celebrating Holi, completely ignoring Covid protocols, in UP’s Prayagraj on Monday. It is this age-group that is most vulnurable to the second Covid wave | PTI The vertical climb 68,020 New cases across India on Monday 40,414 Of case load from maharashtra alone International banks lose billions after fire sale of stocks by US fund E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e Wall Street was in turmoil on Monday after two top global banks — Nomura of Japan and Switzerland’s Credit Suisse — warned they could face significant losses following their exposure to an unnamed US hedge fund. The fund had defaulted last week on certain margin positions held by them and other banks, they said. “Following the failure of the fund to meet these margin commitments, Credit Suisse and other banks are in the process of exiting these positions,” Credit Suisse said. While the banks did not name the fund, media houses identified it as Archegos Capital Management, which had liquidated billions in stocks just last week.Archegos dumped its holdings in top Chinese companies like Baidu Inc, Tencent Music Entertainment Group and Vipshop Holding plus US giants such as ViacomCBS and Discovery after their share value fell last week. This hurt Archegos’ bottom line, forcing it to seek fresh funding. Nomura shares plunged by 16% in Tokyo after it warned of a potential $2 billion loss while Credit Suisse shed 14%. Investor concerns drove down prices of other European banks, too. Nomura, however, said ‘there will be no issues related to the operations or financial soundness’. Swiss bank silent on quantum Already hit by the collapse of British shortterm corporate loan specialist Greensill earlier this year, Credit Suisse warned its losses could be “highly significant,” without giving a figure.The bank referred to links to a US fund which had defaulted on margin calls last week Suez free Tugboat crews sounded foghorns in celebration on Monday after dislodging a ship stuck in Suez Canal for a week The head of the Suez Canal Authority announced the resumption of shipping traffic in the canal, bringing relief to a tailback of over 425 vessels, which will take 4-5 days to clear No sooner had the news of Ever Given refloating trickled out than the oil prices started easing. The 190-odd-km canal channels 10% of world trade Vote-splitter? VCK’s ‘pot’ goes to Independent, DMK irked A a d h i t h ya M S @ Ariyalur DMK cadre here are upset, as an Independent candidate in Kunnam has been allotted the ‘pot’ symbol. This could split their votes, they fear, since DMK ally VCK’s symbol is also a pot. The alliance’s candidate in K u n n a m i s D M K ’ s SS Sivashankar, who is contesting on the ‘rising sun’ symbol. But cadre fear people might now vote for Independent candidate Ravanan assuming he’s from the VCK. DMK supporters noticed the allotment of the ‘pot’ symbol when they saw the postal ballots. Besides being allotted the ‘pot’ symbol for this election, VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan won the 2019 Parliamentary election from Chidambaram constituency on the same symbol. “Kunnam Assembly c o n s t i t u e n cy f a l l s u n d e r Chidambaram Parliamentary constituency. Even then, VCK was DMK’s ally DMK cadre can. vassed for the ‘pot’ symbol to make Thirumavalavan win,” said Selvam Dhanaraj, a DMK cadre canvassing for SS S i v a s h a n k a r i n Kunnam. “Even today, you can see the ‘pot’ symbol VCK cadre painted on houses in 2019. It’s not fair that the symbol was allotted to another candidate,” he alleged. Continued on P4 Raja apologises for comments on Palaniswami Cause of confusion Those who work outside Kunnam and come here to vote may be misled, Dhanaraj said. “They might get confused on seeing the pot symbol, which they voted for in 2019” 2,279 New cases reported in Tamil Nadu on Monday TN’s new cases are 54% Ofand around Chennai in As the controversy surrounding DMK MP A Raja’s comments on Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami refused to die down, the former Union minister issued an apology on Monday, a day after he was booked for his remarks. However, he reiterated that his statements had been “manipulated”. In a written statement, which he also read out at a press meet in Udhagamandalam, Raja said he only referred to the public life of Palaniswami, and a proper reading of his comments would make this clear. P4 Poll digest High security as PM Modi visits Puducherry today Puducherry: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to address an election rally here on Tuesday, District Magistrate Purva Garg declared that the Puducherry region will be a ‘No Fly Zone’ for drones for the day. Road traffic is also being diverted | P3 All polling booths to have VVPAT machines Chennai: Voters will be able to verify if their votes are recorded for their preferred candidate during the April 6 elections as VVPAT machines will be installed along with EVMs in all booths, CEO Satyabrata Sahoo said | P2 Will bring resolution against Centre’s farm laws, says Stalin | P4 DAyS TO GO Vanathi hits out over ‘thukkada’ remark | P4
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