On Tuesday I spoke to Sky News about the Primodos scandal and the ongoing campaign for answers. Prescribed to women in the 70's as a hormone pregnancy test, the drug has been associated with birth defects in children. I have been working to secure an acknowledgement of the link between Primodos and birth defects on behalf of my constituents Pamela Mawdsley and her daughter Louise who lost a baby son and Sonia Fitzpatrick who has been affected by the Primodos her mother took in pregnancy.
This scandal is as bad as the Thalidomide scandal though it has never been acknowledged and nor have the families who have been affected had any apology or recognition of the hell they have been put through. From the late 1960s, there were worrying reports of the effects that taking this drug, which has no therapeutic value and was administered as a pregnancy test, was causing the unwanted loss of pregnancies and significant disabilities in children who's mothers had taken it yet it was eight years before these warnings were acted on in Britain. In the early 1970s, its use was banned in pregnant women in some European countries but not until 1978 was this done in Britain. However, there was no follow through or acknowledgement that some of the many significant disabilities the children of those who took Primodos are living with have been caused by the drug. Families have simply been left in limbo.
The Government established an independent review of the evidence about what happened in 2014 though it seems to be proceeding very slowly, in secrecy and without the confidence of those affected. Campaigners have one observer but she has been made to sign a confidentially clause which prevents her from even talking to other families about it - this is absurd. There are concerns about whether some of the panel members have conflicts of interest and it is clear that the review does not have the full confidence of the families affected.
Sky have been investigating the terrible effects of Primodos on children and their families for the last six years as part of a documentary which was aired on Tuesday at 8pm on Sky Atlantic. You can watch a clip here: Sky News Primodos Scandal. The documentary will hopefully raise awareness of this issue and gives the families an opportunity to show just how damaging Primodos has been for them.
It is shocking that so many years after this scandal first happened the search for answers is still on-going. I will continue to work with those affected to secure an acknowledgement that Primidos was the cause of the problems they had with their pregnancies. Please watch the videos and the documentary to find out more about this situation.