Argyll and Bute MP calls for inquiry into Primidos

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Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara joined calls in Parliament last week for a statutory inquiry into the Primidos scandal and for the Health Secretary to answer questions on the latest review.

Primidos, the hormone pregnancy test used by women in the 1960s and 1970s, has been linked to birth defects and miscarriages. However, the latest review from a group of experts, found no link, causing outrage amongst families and campaigners who branded it a ‘whitewash’.

Mr O’Hara (SNP)said: “The findings of this expert working group have been forensically exposed.

“Why they changed the review’s objectives and the independence and impartiality of some of the experts that sat on the review are just some of the questions that need to be answered.

“This could be regarded as one the biggest legal and medical cover-ups of the 20th century.”

Wendy Brown from the Isle of Mull, a campaigner who herself was affected by Primidos when her mother took the tablets during pregnancy, contacted Mr O’Hara to tell her story and that of others in a bid to raise awareness of the issues.

Mr O’Hara added: “I am hugely grateful to Wendy for contacting me and for allowing me to talk about her own personal experience of living with the effects of Primidos. Her hand and both feet are deformed and with damage to her neck at birth, she was not expected to live. Her wrist is now very painful due to the unnatural way she held her hand in order to conceal it. As she gets older the pain gets worse and it is now affecting her ability to work.

“That is the day-to-day reality of people living with the effect of Primodos.

“Wendy and other members of the campaign group rightly demand justice. We owe it to Wendy and all the other victims never to abandon them in their fight for justice. It is scandalous that the people whose lives have been so badly affected and who, day in and day out, have to live with the physical, social, emotional and psychological pain are being denied natural justice. They will continue to be denied natural justice as long as the United Kingdom’s medical establishment continues to deny the link between hormone pregnancy tests and serious foetal abnormalities.

“If justice is seen to be done, surely it is time for a statutory inquiry, similar to that for the contaminated blood scandal, in which every single piece of evidence is examined forensically and transparently. If the Government are so sure of their case, they have nothing to fear from such an inquiry. At the very least, it would restore public trust in a system in which it is lacking right now.”