§ 43. Mr. Driberg
asked the Minister of Health if he will make a statement on the effects of thalidomide when administered as a sedative to young children; and if these effects are likely to persist so that girls, when adult, may be in danger of giving birth to deformed babies.
§ Mr. Powell
I am advised that the administration of thalidomide in childhood has no effects which could have these consequences.
§ 44. Mr. Driberg
asked the Minister of Health why there was a delay of five months between the withdrawal of thalidomide by the manufacturers and the letter from his chief medical officer asking doctors to warn women who might have had access to this drug not to take it; if he is aware that warnings through the Press were meaningless to many patients, since containers of prescribed drugs bear plain labels on which their contents are not named; and if, in view of the common habit of hoarding drugs no longer needed for immediate use, he will again request doctors to try to recover supplies of this drug that may still be in the possession of patients for whom it was prescribed.
§ Mr. Powell
On withdrawing the drug. the manufacturers informed all doctors, publishing the fact in the professional journals; my chief medical officer's letter called attention to an instance where a patient had not been warned following this action; advice to destroy all old drugs, whether labelled or not, is issued periodically by my Department.