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Primodos pregnancy test drug inquiry 'must be transparent', says MP Yasmin Qureshi

The independent inquiry into controversial hormone pregnancy test Primodos must be transparent, campaigners have said.

 

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi, who campaigned for the inquiry, said a meeting this week with Health Minister George Freeman had been "reassuring".

Primodos was a hormone-packed drug that used similar compounds to the contraceptive pill, but in much stronger doses.

Until 1975 it was prescribed by GPs as a pregnancy test. Two pills were taken and, if the woman was not pregnant, it would induce a period.

It has since been argued the high-dose hormones sometimes caused abnormalities to the foetus or a miscarriage.

Ms Qureshi led a debate in October last year to argue that thousands of babies would not have been left disabled if the government of the day had taken action.

The government agreed to set up an independent panel to look into the evidence.

Ms Qureshi said: “I had a reassuring meeting with George Freeman on my campaign for Primodos victims and I thanked him for agreeing to set up a panel of inquiry.

"I’m pleased he strongly agreed with me that the process must be transparent and one of trust and confidence for victims who have been denied justice and understandably have lost confidence in the process.

“Appointed panel members must be impartial and be thoroughly vetted.

"We have seen conflict of interests emerge with inquiries into other areas and it is only right and proper that Primodos victims are reassured.

"A chair for the panel has now been appointed and I look forward to meeting with her to discuss the constitution and objectives of the panel."

Ms Qureshi took up the campaign after meeting Little Lever mum Nichola Williams.

Miss Williams was born with life-threatening congenital health issues, which she claims were caused by the drug Primodos that her mother was prescribed while pregnant.

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 1970s as a pregnancy test.

A timeline for the Panel Inquiry has not yet been set.

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