Primodos and other forms of Hormone Pregnancy Tests (HPT) were pills given to women in between 1956 and 1978 by GPs to test for pregnancy. These hormone-based drugs worked by triggering a period if the woman was not pregnant and replaced urine-based samples as a faster way to obtain results.
These drugs were removed from the market in 1977, but this is not before thousands of women had used it and resultantly given birth to babies with malformations.
For years the link between the drug and children being born with congenital defects was unproven. A sky news investigation ‘Primodos: The Secret Drug Scandal’ changed this. It found evidence that Schering was warned by UK regulators of the potential damage the drug was causing and deliberately destroyed legal records to preclude itself from future legal action. Then, ground-breaking research produced by the University of Oxford in November 2018 linked Primodos to malformations in babies whose mothers had used the drug. It proved this not only for all congenital malformations but also more specific malformations including cardiac malformations, musculoskeletal, neurological and neurogenetical malformations.
Primodos was the most widely used HPT in the UK. It was manufactured by a company called Schering, now owned by Bayer Plc. An alternative, also available in the UK, was Amerorone Forte, manufactured by Roussel, now owed by Sanofi.
Evidence suggests that the manufacturers failed to research and test HPTs before selling them. The Government did not install the appropriate checks and balances to ensure that this drug was properly regulated on the market.
PGMBM’s medical negligence team is supporting clients in group action to obtain the compensation that they deserve.