§ Mr. Viggers
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representa-tions through the United Nations and other appropriate international bodies to warn of the dangers of thalidomide used in Brazil and elsewhere.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
[holding answer 14 June 19931]: We have consulted the World Health Organisation about the use of thalidomide. WHO has confirmed that it recommends its use for the treatment of certain immunological reactions that may occur in leprosy patients either before or during specific treatment. However, because of its well-known embryopathic effects, WHO stipulates that the drug should be given only to men and postmenopausal women; women of child-bearing age should never be given thalidomide.
WHO guidance on the use of thalidomide is made available to national Governments, who are responsible for the control of the manufacture, distribution and use of this drug in their own countries.