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Sale of Biogaran: The Republicans write to Emmanuel Macron

Five days after the confirmation of a rumor about the sale of the subsidiary of Servier laboratories to an Indian group, the deputy for Isère Yannick Neuder and the president of the Republicans Éric Ciotti expressed their concerns directly to the President of the Republic, with copy to the Minister for Industry, Roland Lescure.

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Sale of Biogaran: The Republicans write to Emmanuel Macron

Five days after the confirmation of a rumor about the sale of the subsidiary of Servier laboratories to an Indian group, the deputy for Isère Yannick Neuder and the president of the Republicans Éric Ciotti expressed their concerns directly to the President of the Republic, with copy to the Minister for Industry, Roland Lescure. “The takeover offers from foreign players must call us to the greatest vigilance as the prospects of a massive relocation of national production accompanied by the placing under the Indian flag of this French flagship would constitute a failure of the State to ensure our industrial and health sovereignty,” write the LR parliamentarians.

In this three-page missive, right-wing elected officials emphasize several points. They praise the strategic importance of Biogaran (32% of generic drugs produced in France, 350 million boxes per year, 90% to Europe, etc.), defend the candidacy of the only potential French buyer out of the four announced (Benta-Lyon in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) and demand that the government use its prerogatives to oppose the sale of Biogaran to a non-European company. The Republicans mention the monetary and financial code according to which the protection of public health would be one of the sectors of activity in which foreign investments are “subject to prior authorization from the Minister responsible for the Economy”.

Deputies Neuder and Ciotti also refer the Head of State to the commitments he made in June 2023 concerning a strengthening of France's health sovereignty. “You notably ensured the assistance of an awareness of the State on the deleterious effects of a foreign industrial dependence on pharmaceutical products”, they recall, before insisting on the importance of industrial relocations in the pharmaceutical sector, particularly after the shortages observed during the Covid health crisis.

Finally, Les Républicains note "the great difficulty" of the pharmaceutical industry in France and point out the urgency of a new doctrine in terms of "pharmaceutical strategic planning" to free these French companies, in particular from the "weight of standards" and “fixing prices against market realities”. For the right, it is a “showcase of French pharmaceutical know-how which is threatened and the survival of an absolutely strategic sector for our economy and the control of our public spending”.

On the right, Xavier Bertrand, LR president of Hauts-de-France, also asked the government to “oppose this sale” when Florian Philippot, president of the Patriots, denounced a “new betrayal” of the executive. For his part, MP Bertrand Pancher, president of the Liberties, Independents, Overseas and Territories (Liot) parliamentary group, deemed it “urgent” that Biogaran remain French. And in response to the possible sale of the leader in French generics, Marie Toussaint, head of the Ecologist list for the European elections, presented a plan for “European pharmaceutical sovereignty”.

For its part, the government, which had defended “health recovery” as an objective, wanted to be reassuring. Minister Roland Lescure assured that the State was “very vigilant” on this issue. “We are leaving ourselves the possibility of activating the so-called IEF procedure (foreign investment in France, Editor's note),” said the minister, assuring that he had expressed “clearly” to the Servier laboratory his opposition to the sale of Biogaran.

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