To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 5 May (WA 103–4), on how many occasions countermeasures against chemical weapons were deemed necessary; and how many times operational commanders instructed troops to start and stop taking NAPS tablets between January and March 2003. [HL3731]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 5 May (WA 103–4), what method was used for the disposal of unused NAPS tablets once the threat that would necessitate their use had ended; and how they were accounted for. [HL3732]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 5 May (WA 103–4), whether there was any difference between the formulation of NAPS tablets issued to members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in 1990–91 and 2003 and those issued to members of the United States forces. [HL3733]
Orders were issued on 17 March 2003 authorising the taking of nerve agent pre-treatment sets (NAPS) by UK personnel in those areas where the NBC threat level was assessed medium or high. Subsequent orders dated 14 April 2003 instructed that their use should cease. Between these dates, operational commanders would have instructed troops to start and stop taking NAPS in accordance with the threat level in their particular area.
NAPS are a standard pharmaceutical preparation with no specific clinical disposal requirement. Once no longer required, disposal of unused tablets already issued to personnel would be the responsibility of the individual. Any that were returned to medical facilities would have been sent for incineration, in accordance with normal clinical waste procedures.
The active pharmaceutical ingredient, 30 mg pyridostigamine bromide, is the same in both the NAPS tablets issued to members of the UK Armed Forces in 1990-91 and 2003, and the soman nerve agent pre-treatment pyridostigmine (SNAPP) tablets issued by the US Department of Defense.