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Opren

Volume 33: debated on Tuesday 30 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he intends to take to ensure that the manufacturers of the drug Opren, which has now been withdrawn from the British market, will pay compensation to those patients who suffered distressing side effects from the drug.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will have discussions with Eli Lilly and Co. the manufacturers of the drug Opren about payment of compensation to people who have suffered adverse effects, or to the relatives of people who may have died as a result of it.

The legal position is that the question of compensation for injuries alleged to have been caused by a medicinal product is a matter for the parties concerned—in this instance, patients or their relatives alleging adverse effects of the drug Opren to the particular individual, and Lilly Industries Ltd.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients suffered severe side effects after taking the drug Opren, which has now been withdrawn.

The Committee on Safety of Medicines has now received 3,792 reports of adverse reactions, of greatly varying degrees of severity, associated with the drug benoxaprofen—Opren—including 74 cases where the patients died. It is emphasised that the existence of these reports does not necessarily imply a causal relationship between drug and reaction in all cases, and that the CSM is aware that not all adverse reactions to drugs are recognised or reported.