The drug, which has harmed 20,000 babies, is still being prescribed to pregnant women

A drug that has caused physical deformities and neurological problems in the tens of thousands Infants Pregnant women are still being prescribed.

The drug for epilepsy sodium valproate has been given to women in the UK for years without proper warning. The Sunday Times Reported.

Jeremy Hunt, a former health secretary, called for an “immediate remedy” to prevent the “damage” that is known to be caused by drugs.

According to a review published in 2020, 20,000 Britons have been affected since the effects of the drug were on developing infants.

At the time, the review said that “hundreds” of babies were still born each year from mothers who took it without knowing the risks.

According to the latest data, 222 pregnant women were exposed to sodium valproate in 2020-2021, according to the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

They said the exposure rates have been declining since the introduction of the pregnancy prevention program and the rates are “substantially low” in 2020-2021.

Mr Hunt said sodium valproate was “a major risk to patient safety” as he called for a ban on its administration to pregnant women.

Speaker NHS England has said it has set up a group of experts to help reduce the use of valproate by 50 per cent by women who can conceive next year.

Janet Stockley-Pollard, one of the mothers who claims that the drug sodium valproate, also known as epilepsy, caused the congenital defects at a 2011 press conference in London.


Mr. Hunt told him Sunday Times“It’s time for the British government to take responsibility. Just like we finally did towards the victims of the thalidomide scandal.

“It is shameful to believe that after so many warnings, it is still not sorted. “This is a major risk to patient safety and ministers must instruct urgent remediation to prevent further harm.”

He said it was time for the NHS to “stop dragging its feet on this” and said “there can be no right to risk the disability of so many children when the effects of the drug are so well known.”

Dr. Alison Cave, MHRA Chief Security Officer, said the use of valproate during pregnancy carries a “significant risk of harm to the baby” and that it “should not be taken by any individual with reproductive potential unless they have a contraceptive program that includes effective The use of contraception. “

Every year, every woman on medication should sign an annual risk recognition form with a healthcare professional as her circumstances regarding the risk of pregnancy may change, Dr. Cave added.

He said work continues on drug use in people where there are no other effective options.

She added: “Our safety with sodium valproate continues and we will continue to review, adapt and take regulatory action where necessary to enable the safe use of this drug in those who can conceive where there is no other effective option. . ”

Mr. Hunt began his 2018 review of how the health service responded to concerns about sodium valproate.

This review also looked at the pelvic floor – which has been linked to deadly, life-threatening complications, including chronic pain, infections and loss of sex life – and pregnancy hormone tests, such as Primodos, which are most likely linked to birth defects and miscarriages.

Back row, from left to right: Susan Cole, Janet Williams, Samantha Scott. Front row, left to right: Janet Stockley-Polard and Emma Friedman, all mothers who claim that sodium valproate has caused a number of congenital defects.


The review, led by Baroness Cumberlage, made a number of recommendations.

This included the appointment of an independent patient safety commissioner sitting outside the health care system; Calls on the government to “immediately apologize” to the affected families on behalf of the health care system; Reform of the regulatory body for medicine and medical devices; And a register of all “financial and intangible interests for all physicians.”

The Sunday Times On the packaging of the reported drug, which was not inside the patient safety information sheet.

The MHRA said it would look into any examples where important safety information about risks during pregnancy is not provided.

In response Sunday Times The story, a spokesperson for the Department of Health (DH) said: “Patient safety is a priority and we take all reports and questions on this issue extremely seriously.

“As indicated in our response, we have received most of the recommendations made by Baroness Cumberland. “We want to improve the future safety of medicines and medical devices – to ensure that they are used in accordance with the latest evidence of best practice – and there are broader forms of remuneration for those who need it.”

Speaker NHS England He said: “The NHS has set up a panel of experts to help reduce the use of valproate by women who can conceive by 50 per cent next year.

“Last year, the NHS wrote to all women and girls between the ages of 12 and 55 in England about medication to remind them of the risks of drug use during pregnancy and to work with partners to help reduce the risk of valproate.

The drug, which has harmed 20,000 babies, is still being prescribed to pregnant women

Source link The drug, which has harmed 20,000 babies, is still being prescribed to pregnant women

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