Hemel Hempstead MP Sir Mike Penning calls for an independent inquiry into hormone-based pregnancy tests, such as Primodos, which were used in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
A SkyNews Special Report “Primodos: The Secret Drug Scandal” reported evidence to suggest Primodos damaged babies in the womb and that this evidence was known and covered up with documents being destroyed and information withheld.
It appears that the drug was often given out to GPs as a free sample and given to patients without any formal prescription and also that it was given out long after the possible dangers to an unborn child were known.
Local residents have contacted Sir Mike as they believe that they were given Primodos and that is the cause of their child’s serious long-term health and disability problems.
The Government instructed the Commission on Human Medicine to set up an expert working group to look into it, but campaigners have called the report a “whitewash” with the results apparently being significantly altered between the draft and the final version. The Government also inadvertently suggested that respected Thalidomide campaigner Nick Dobrik supported the findings in the report which he categorially did not.
Leading a debate in the House of Commons yesterday, Sir Mike called for a new independent inquiry, led by a Judge with the ability to subpoena and summons people to give evidence before it on oath “so that we can get to the absolute truth”.
Speaking afterwards Sir Mike said:
“This campaign has been going on for decades and campaigners have lost faith in the system which has repeatedly let them down. It is like Thalidomide all over again. The victims and their families have been treated badly and it is time something was done to put this right.
“Whilst I hope that the Government agrees to a new independent inquiry – and am pleased that they have shown a willingness to consider all options – the real solution would be if pharmaceutical giant Bayer, who now own the company that originally manufactured the drug, would offer up some kind of compensation scheme.
“The babies born with disabilities are now getting to the age where they need financial support and they cannot wait for another inquiry and more research to be carried out.”
Jon Wedger is about to embark on a walk from London to Manchester to raise funds and awareness.