HC Deb 10 February 1999 vol 325 c219W
Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if SEAC has been asked for its opinion as to the potential efficacy of pentosan polysulphate in treating nvCJD; and if he will make a statement; [61679]

(2) what is the cost of an oral course of pentosan polysulphate as prophylaxis against nvCJD. [61680]

Ms Jowell

[holding answer 2 December 1998]: It is not yet known whether an oral course of pentosan polysulphate would be effective as a prophylaxis against nvCJD, or what dose or duration of treatment would be required, or what adverse side effects there might be from its use for this purpose. Therefore it is not possible to calculate the cost of an oral course as an effective prophylaxis against nvCJD.

The Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) met on 11 January and considered the potential use of pentosan polysulphate as a prophylactic. The Committee is in the process of preparing its advice to Ministers. The Committee on the Safety of Medicines is also considering this use of pentosan. The Government are awaiting the advice from these committees.

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