Graeme calls for justice for ‘forgotten Thalidomide’ victims

Graeme calls for justice for ‘forgotten Thalidomide’ victims

Livingston MP, Graeme Morrice, has called for justice for those affected by an oral hormone pregnancy test.

It is feared that Primodos, a hormone packed pill given to expectant mothers between 1953 and 1975, has caused birth defects and miscarriages.

Mr Morrice, a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Oral Hormone Pregnancy Tests, has been working to raise awareness of the issue and is calling for others potentially affected to come forward, after hearing the lifelong struggle of one of his constituents, Mrs Wilma Ord.

Mrs Ord, of Pumpherston, West Lothian, was prescribed the pill in 1970s and believes that her daughter was damaged by Primodos, often referred to as the ‘forgotten Thalidomide’.

Kirsteen, Mrs Ord’s daughter, was born deaf, has cerebal palsy and mobility and communication problems, something she blames on taking the drug Primodos during pregnancy.

Despite warnings in the late 1960s that the pill could potentially cause congenital malformations in new-borns, the drug continued to be prescribed by GPs and was not removed from the market until 1978.

The issue has been subject to parliamentary scrutiny following a debate brought forward by Mr Morrice’s Labour colleague, Yasmin Qureshi MP, in October last year.

Mr Morrice welcomed the outcome of the debate, during which Health Minister George Freeman agreed to set up an independent panel to look at the evidence and release information it holds on the drug Primodos.

However, the Livingston MP has called for more to be done to support those affected by the drug, including the possibility of compensation.

This week, Mr Morrice raised the issue in Parliament when he questioned the Secretary of State about progress on the establishment of the independent panel. 

Graeme Morrice MP said:

“After hearing of the personal and moving account of my constituent, Wilma Ord, I have taken up the issue and met with Marie Lyon, chairperson of the Association For Children Damaged By Hormone Pregnancy Testing and also raised the matter with the Secretary of State.

“Primodos has had a devastating impact on the lives of hundreds of women across the UK and more needs to be done to help those affected.

“I would urge any women in West Lothian who feel they may have been affected to come forward”.

Wilma Ord added:

“Someone must accept responsibility for providing a drug which has such devastating consequences.

“Myself and many others have endured years of suffering and it is about time we had justice for everyone affected by Primodos”.

To read Graeme's contribution to Health Questions to the Secretary of State, click here