Primodos

17th November 2017

Hemel Hempstead MP Sir Mike Penning has condemned the report of the Commission on Human Medicine’s expert working group on hormone pregnancy tests as a “whitewash.”

A constituent, who was given two tablets of Primodos to test for pregnancy in the 1960s, contacted Sir Mike as she believes that the impact of the tablets on the foetus she was carrying at the time was devastating. Researchers have since found that the hormone pill was “super-strength” - equivalent to 40 modern-day contraceptive pills, and that it contained the same ingredients used in contraceptive pills today.

Primodos was a hormone-based pregnancy test first used in the 1950s and was subsequently withdrawn from use in 1978.

A SkyNews Special Report Primodos: The Secret Drug Scandal reported evidence to suggest the pregnancy test did damage babies in the womb and that this evidence was known and covered up with documents being destroyed and information withheld.

An expert working group was set up and on 15 November it published its report concluding that “the scientific evidence does not support a causal association between the use of HPTs such as Primodos and birth defects or miscarriage.”

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, following the Ministerial statement on the report, Sir Mike said:

“The families do—I think, rightly—feel that the report is a whitewash. Material has been removed from the draft, and the group looked into matters that were not within its remit.”

“The question was whether there was link with a drug that was given to our constituents often with no prescription: a drawer would be opened, and it would be handed out to them so that they could find out whether they were pregnant. An open inquiry was needed, but I am afraid that the families, and many Members who are present today, will not feel that that was what happened.”

He called on the Minister to meet with the families and the members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group.

He added:

“Will the Minister please also watch last night’s report on Sky News, which exposes much of what has being going on over many Parliaments? No matter who was in government, Governments have ignored these people, and we cannot continue to do so.”

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