New Zealand Starts Primodos Investigation

New Zealand Starts Primodos Investigation

23rd Mar 2017

Health records across the Western World are being checked, after further evidence linking Primodos with birth defects was discovered in Germany.


Primodos was a hormone based pregnancy test that was first introduced in 1959, before being withdrawn in the late 1970s. The test consisted of the consumption of two pills containing norethisterone and ethinylestradiol, with these acting together to induce menstruation in women who were not pregnant.


Following its withdrawal from the market in 1978 it was determined by some that users had around a five to one chance of giving birth to a child with malformations. The British medical officer who had uncovered this potential link alerted the drug’s manufacturers, Schering, as early as 1975 - however received no response.


Following this he destroyed his evidence to prevent ‘individual claims being made based on his work’.


As a result families who believe that they have been affected by the hormones have faced a long, and so far fruitless, battle for compensation.


That could be set to change however, after two archived files seemingly linking Primodos to birth defects were uncovered in Germany.


New Zealand became the first country outwith the UK and Germany to publically reveal that it would be investigating any use of the pills during the 60s and 70s in its health service.


In a statement Medsafe, who regulated the drugs market in the country said: " Medsafe will utilise archival material to ascertain the extent of use in this country, if any."


Whatever the findings in New Zealand it's highly unlikely that it will prove to be the only Western location concerned about the recently discovered files, whilst those seeking what they see as justice may finally be able to receive the compensation which they believe they deserve. 


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