Why did Primodos remain on the British market for so long ?

A historical argument for regulatory failure in the case of Primodos and other hormone pregnancy tests

Abstract

The drug Primodos and other hormone pregnancy tests (HPTs) remained on the British market for about a decade after they were first implicated, in 1967, as a possible cause of birth defects.

In November 2017, an expert working group (EWG) set up by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) concluded against such an association.

However, it was explicitly ‘not within the remit of the EWG to make formal conclusions or recommendations on the historical system or regulatory failures’, a situation that has left many stakeholders dissatisfied.

Placing the question of a teratogenicity to one side, this article takes a more contextual and comparative approach than was possible under the auspices of MHRA. It asks why an unnecessary and possibly even harmful drug was allowed to remain on the British market when a reliable and perfectly safe alternative existed: urine tests for pregnancy.

Based on archival research in several countries, this article builds a historical argument for regulatory failure in the case of HPTs.

It concludes that the independent review which campaigners are calling for would have the potential to not only bring them a form of closure, but would also shed light on pressing issues of more general significance regarding risk, regulation and communication between policy makers, medical experts and patients.

Read the full paper (free access) A historical argument for regulatory failure in the case of Primodos and other hormone pregnancy tests on rbmsociety,

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

2 thoughts on “Why did Primodos remain on the British market for so long ?”

  1. Thank you once again for highlighting our campaign. We now have an in depth meta analysis which concluded there IS a link between HPT’s and congenital abnormalities. The study is by Prof. Carl Heneghan and is the most comprehensive study ever undertaken.

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