HC Deb 11 March 1981 vol 1000 cc329-30W
Mr. Ashley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to receive the report from the Committee on Safety of Medicines of the Meade panel and Dudgeon panel on pertussis vaccine; when this particular investigation began; what form it has taken; when the committee received the first draft; when he first expected to receive the report; why there has been a delay; and if he will publish the report and the names of those who prepared it.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

I have received the report of the Committee on Safety of Medicines together with the reports of the panels chaired by Professor Dudgeon and Dr. Meade. These reports relate to the data submitted to the CSM on suspected adverse reactions to pertussis vaccine by the Association of Parents of Vaccine Damaged Children in April 1977 together with additional data processed by Professor Stewart of Glasgow university and adverse reaction reports submitted directly to the CSM. The CSM established an advisory panel chaired by Professor Dudgeon in May 1977 to review urgently the best documented cases on pertussis vaccine. The panel reported to the CSM in June 1978. The CSM established a second panel chaired by Dr. Meade in November 1977 to undertake an analysis by epidemiological methods of all the data available to it on suspected serious reactions to pertussis vaccine. I had hoped to be able to publish the CSM's report and the report of the panels in the first half of 1980, but, because of the complexity of the task and the difficulty of drawing agreed conclusions from a retrospective analysis of the kind of data available, the Meade panel took far longer than had been anticipated to complete this work. A first draft of its report was considered by the CSM in December 1979 but its final report was only submitted to the CSM in October 1980. The CSM submitted its report to me on 11 December 1980.

I am arranging for the reports of the CSM and the two panels to be published as soon as possible, together with the names of those persons who are members of the panels. I am also arranging for the report of the National Childhood Encephalopathy Study relating to pertussis vaccine and a commentary by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to be published at the same time.