Primodos is an issue that is close to my heart and every time I speak about this my heart goes out to all those who have been affected. Each family I meet makes this campaign stronger, because it's for them.
I spoke about Primodos again in Parliament recently.
I began my involvement with the campaign after being contacted by my constituent Nicola Williams, from Little Lever, who was born with life-threatening congenital health problems, which she says were caused by a pregnancy testing drug her mother was prescribed called Primodos. Nicola, aged 41, says her life has been ruined by the drug and she wants the truth about its effects to be admitted by the company.
The hormone drug produced by Schering, a German company later taken over by Bayer, was given to women in the UK by GPs in the 1960s and 70s as a pregnancy test. It was banned in the UK in 1978.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the drug primodos was given to pregnant women, resulting in serious birth defects in thousands of babies, who are now adults in their 40s. The then Committee on the Safety of Medicines failed to act in time. The scientist at Schering, the drug manufacturing company, accepted subsequently that he had made up his research, and the solicitor Peter Todd has described the events as the biggest medical and legal cover-up of the 20th century.
I’m calling for a public inquiry into the side-effects of Primodos. Yesterday the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Daniel Poulter, agreed to meet me and victims of Primodos to discuss their concerns.
I’m very pleased that the Minister has agreed to meet us. This is our chance to let the Government know exactly how the victims have suffered over the years. We want answers and we want justice.