Health

Review ordered into epilepsy drug, vaginal mesh and Primodos

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Vaginal mesh

Image caption

The mesh implants are used to ease incontinence and to support organs

The government has ordered a review into how UK authorities responded to concerns over three major medical problems.

He has asked Baroness Julia Cumberlege to look at the pregnancy test Primodos, vaginal mesh implants and epilepsy drug sodium valproate cases.

All three have been in the news in recent months with campaigners unhappy at the official response to each.

There could even be public inquiries if it was warranted.

The move was announced by Prime Minister Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions.

The government has already agreed to carry out a full audit of how many women in England have suffered complications as a result of vaginal mesh implants, while a European review is examining whether warnings about risks to unborn babies from the mother’s use of sodium valproate are strong enough.

And last year the Commission on Human Medicines said the evidence did not support a “causal link” between use of Primodos and birth defects and miscarriages after carrying out an inquiry.

This new review will not repeat the work done previously.

Instead, it will look at:

  • The robustness and speed of the authorities’ response to each
  • Whether regulators did enough to engage those affected to ensure their concerns were escalated and acted upon
  • Whether there needs to be an independent system – even a public inquiry – into any of the cases

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