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Servier made active ingredient for banned drug at Hungarian unit

The active ingredient for a drug France's Servier earlier pulled from markets because of heart risks was made by the company's Hungarian subsidiary Egis, business daily Napi Gazdasag reported on Monday.

Servier farmed out production of the active ingredient -- benfluorex -- of its drug Mediator to Egis, but all specifications and technology for the production came from the parent company. As Egis neither registered nor sold the active ingredient, it is not liable for its effects, the paper said.

Mediator -- originally prescribed as an appetite suppressant for obese diabetics -- was taken off the market in France in 2009 because of heart risks. Between 500 and 2,000 people are thought to have died taking the drug.