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Volume 281: debated on Tuesday 16 July 1996

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is given to general practitioners by his Department on the side effects of Lariam as an anti-malarial prophylaxis. [36871]

General practitioners are informed of the side effects of mefloquine—Lariam—through the manufacturer's data sheet which is approved by the Licensing Authority and made available to doctors. In addition the "British National Formulary" provides information on adverse effects of mefloquine. The Department of Health pays for the formulary to be sent to general practitioners twice a year. Information on mefloquine was circulated to all doctors in the chief medical officer's update 10 in May 1996, and is contained in the book "Health Information for Overseas Travel", a copy of which has been sent to every general practitioner.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the Medical Advisory Service for Travellers abroad to publish the results of its trials on the effects of Lariam on tourists. [36873]

We are aware of the studies being conducted by the medical advisory service for travellers abroad on mefloquine, Lariam. MASTA is an independent organisation and the responsibility for publication of the results of the studies lies with it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the Malaria Advisory Committee to publish its revised guidelines for the use of Lariam as an anti-malarial prophylaxis; and if the guidelines will be circulated to general practitioners and travel centres. [36875]

The revised guidelines from the malaria reference laboratory for malaria prophylaxis for travellers from the United Kingdom are still being developed. No publication date has yet been set, but it is hoped that they will be published, as previous guidelines have, in a suitable journal with a wide circulation. Their publication will be brought to the attention of all doctors.