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Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review

Volume 692: debated on Tuesday 13 April 2021

What progress he has made on implementing the recommendations of the independent medicines and medical devices safety review. (914201)

A written ministerial statement was published on 11 January 2021, updating Parliament on the Government’s current progress on each of the nine recommendations. The Government will respond in full to the report later this year. It took more than two years to produce the report and we therefore consider it vital, for the sake of patients and especially those who have suffered greatly, to give this independent report the full consideration it deserves.

Baroness Cumberlege’s respected report makes it clear that those harmed by sodium valproate have suffered great and irreparable harm for many decades and that redress is needed. The patient reference group adds more delay for people who have waited long enough already. Will my hon. Friend commit to doing the right thing today and take up this issue of redress and give those harmed the support they have waited so long for?

I would like first to convey my most sincere sympathies to anyone who has suffered as a consequence of taking sodium valproate during pregnancy. It remains still the only drug that some women who suffer from epilepsy can take to control their epilepsy. As set out in the recent written ministerial statement, the Government will carefully consider the recommendations and make a full response to the whole report later this year.