While the announcement of the composition of the new government cannot be long in coming, the current Minister of Health, Agnès Firmin Le Bodo, was heard on Tuesday by the courts as part of the judicial investigation opened after she received as a pharmacist, gifts from Urgo laboratories worth 20,000 euros, the Rouen prosecutor told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday January 10.

The latter was heard in the premises of the regional directorate of the economy, employment, work and solidarity (Dreets) of Rouen by investigators from the judicial police and the repression of fraud (DGCCRF) responsible for investigations, declared the public prosecutor of Le Havre, Bruno Dieudonné, which confirms information from BFM-TV which first mentioned the free hearing of the minister, late Wednesday afternoon.

The minister is the subject of a judicial investigation for having received, as a pharmacist in Le Havre between 2015 and 2020, gifts from Urgo laboratories for a total value of 20,000 euros according to Mediapart, which revealed the case in December .

“There is no conflict of interest, no benefit in kind, no gift, there are commercial negotiations,” the minister defended herself a few days later, regarding this affair revealed shortly after her appointment to head of the ministry to replace Aurélien Rousseau after his resignation.

At the material time, the gifts were offered by Urgo to pharmacists in exchange for a waiver of a commercial discount from the laboratory to the pharmacy. This practice, prohibited, concerned a large number of pharmacists. The laboratory was thus sentenced in January 2023 to a fine of 1.125 million euros – including 625,000 euros suspended – by the Dijon criminal court, after an investigation by the DGCCRF.

According to professional sources, the DGCCRF is investigating all pharmacists who accepted these gifts (watches, magnums of champagne, cast iron casserole dish, weekend boxes, etc.). Agnès Firmin Le Bodo, until then deputy minister responsible for territorial organization and health professions, was named interim minister of health on December 20 after the resignation of Aurélien Rousseau for disagreement on the “immigration” law.