South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine has spoken up in support of a local family who have co-founded a campaign group to help children harmed by the epilepsy drug, Sodium Valproate.

The SNP MSP was speaking during a question session in the Scottish Parliament last week after she’d had been approached by constituents. with a family member who has Foetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder caused by drugs taken to combat seizures during pregnancy.

Sodium Valproate had been a focus of the UK Government’s Cumberledge Review which was published in July. The review made a number of recommendations which the Scottish Government are now considering.

The First Do No Harm (Valproate) Scotland group are now campaigning for the Scottish Government to implement all nine of the report’s recommendations in their entirety.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,

“The medical profession knew this drug could cause birth-defects in animals yet they continued to prescribe it to women of child-bearing age. I believe, therefore, that we have a responsibility to help children who have been left requiring considerable support for the rest of their lives.

“I raised the plight of these families at portfolio Questions last week and asked Jeane Freeman, the Cabinet Secretary for Health whether the Scottish Government will fully implement the recommendations of the Cumberledge review and, if so, what the timescale will be and whether the First Do No Harm (Valproate) Scotland group would be represented at the talks.

“Ms Freeman has reassured me that the Scottish Government are giving careful consideration to all the recommendations in the report and will be consulting with all the patient groups before responding with their plans. In the meantime I will continue to press for these plans to include all nine of the report’s recommendations.”