Sanofi sued in France over Gardasil vaccine

BORDEAUX (Reuters) - A French teenager has filed a lawsuit against French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur and France's health regulators, her lawyer said on Sunday, over side-effects they say were caused by the Gardasil anti-cervical cancer vaccine. The lawsuit filed on Friday in Bobigny outside Paris says Sanofi and health regulators violated "obvious safety obligations and breached the principles of precaution and prevention." The plaintiff's lawyer, Jean-Christophe Coubris, who is based in Bordeaux, said his now 18-year-old client was 15 when she received two injections of Gardasil, which is made by Merck and sold in Europe by Sanofi. Within months she was hospitalized for multiple sclerosis, he said. "She temporarily lost her sight and the use of her legs," Coubris said in a statement. Coubris also represents victims of the Mediator scandal, in which officials blame the anti-diabetes drug made by Servier Laboratories for at least 500 deaths in France. Sanofi said in a statement that studies in France and around the world have found no increased risk of multiple sclerosis linked to Gardasil. "As the scientific literature underlines, the fact that a illness appears after a vaccine is administered does not mean that the vaccine caused this illness," it said. Sanofi said studies showed that cases of multiple sclerosis in young people occur at the same rate whether or not they have been vaccinated with Gardasil. (Reporting By Claude Canellas, Writing by Alexandria Sage, editing by William Hardy)