Families impacted by Sodium Valproate (Epilim) in Ireland demand an Independent Inquiry.

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Sodium Valproate (Epilim) is a drug which is commonly used for people with epilepsy, first licensed in Ireland in 1975. However, if the drug is prescribed in pregnancy, it can have severe impacts on the child. In 30-40% of cases, the child will be born with developmental disorders and in 10% of cases, children will be born with congenital malformations.

Evidence about the impacts of this drug was beginning to emerge from the 1960's and continuing to emerge and strengthen in the subsequent decades - yet it was not until 2014 and again in 2018 that real warnings and preventative measures were introduced by European and National regulators to warn women of the impacts of this drug on their child if prescribed in pregnancy.

Their children have been born with severe long-term health conditions that were entirely avoidable if all families had been made aware of the risks.

Why was this drug continued to be prescribed to women in Ireland? Why were no warnings given? Why was the emerging evidence not taken account of? 

These are just some of the questions that families have, and they deserve answers.

In 2018, the Oireachtas Committee on Health recommended that an Independent Inquiry be held to investigate this matter, but this has yet to happen.

Prior to the 2020 General Election, now Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly stated that he was 100% in favour of an Independent Inquiry and that he could not understand why one hadn't happened to date.

He now has the power to make this happen and we demand that he honour his commitment and that he now orders an Independent Inquiry for families affected.

Please support our calls and sign our petition to ensure the Minister keeps his word.

Thank you

OACS Ireland