These companies involved in research blame teams from the University Hospital Institute (IHU) Méditerranée Infection "for the systematic prescription of patients with Covid-19 (...) medicinal products as varied as hydroxychloroquine, zinc, ivermectin or azithromycin (...) without a solid pharmacological basis, and in the absence of any evidence of efficacy".

More seriously, according to them, these prescriptions were continued "for more than a year after the formal demonstration of their ineffectiveness". The authorities must take "measures adapted to the mistakes committed", in the name of "patient safety" and the "credibility of French medical research", they conclude.

Professor Raoult, who had gained media fame by holding positions, now discredited, on Covid-19, including the supposed effectiveness of treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, published in March a "pre-print", that is to say a non-peer-reviewed version, of his study on more than 30,000 Covid patients.

In April, the French Medicines Agency (ANSM) estimated that the use of hydroxychloroquine "exposes patients to potential adverse effects that can be serious".

The Marseille prosecutor's office had opened in July 2022 a judicial investigation, after a scathing report from the ANSM, for "forgery in writing", "use of forgery in writing" and "interventional research involving a human person not justified by his usual care".

At this stage, there has been no indictment, the prosecutor's office told AFP at the end of May.

After a damning inspection report (IGAS / IGESR) on the medical, scientific and managerial excesses of the IHU under the leadership of Didier Raoult, the government had also announced on September 5 to take the court. On this aspect, the Marseille prosecutor's office is still in the analysis phase, he told AFP.

Questioned Sunday during the Grand Jury RTL / LCI / Le Figaro, the Minister of Health, François Braun, recalled that his ministry and that of Education and Research had seized the prosecutor on the mode of operation of the IHU of Marseille.

"The investigation is ongoing, I will say no more," he said. Asked if the investigation was also about the new "wild" clinical trial, he replied: "Of course."

© 2023 AFP