§ Mr. David Watkins
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many deaths are attributed by the Committee on Safety of Medicines to the use of the drug practolol in the treatment of patients; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Dan Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has been the incidence of death and disability due to the use of the drug Eraldin.
§ Dr. Owen
A detailed review of reports to the Committee on Safety of Medicines shows that 14 patients who received practolol have died. In 12 of these patients damage to the gut was found at operation. The other two patients had severe skin reactions—exfoliative dermatitis—but these patients were also treated with other drugs.
Detailed information of the number of patients who have suffered disability as a result of treatment with practolol is not available. Many thousands of patients have been treated with it, usually with significant therapeutic effect.231W
As I explained in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Litterick) on 29th April —[Vol. 910, c. 166–67]—the use of Eraldin—the trade name for practolol—has been restricted to certain life- 232W threatening conditions for use in hospitals only. Unfortunately, the animal studies which were carried out in a satisfactory manner did not predict the hazards of this drug which have now emerged after widespread use in patients.