Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Health
701. To ask the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the Valproate Project Response report; when it will be published (details supplied); if an independent inquiry will be established to examine the matter; if his attention has been further drawn to the French compensation scheme for persons affected by foetal anti-convulsant syndrome and a UK report due to be published on 24 March 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3356/20]
The HSE's report on its Valproate Response Project has been considered within my Department, and I have received briefing from officials. The report describes the HSE's work on sodium valproate issues since the Valproate Response team was established in May 2018. This work has included the provision of an expert support service for people with concerns about exposure to sodium valproate; establishing a dedicated genetics clinic in Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin to improve access to genetic testing; supporting the development of a diagnostic pathway for foetal valproate syndrome; and improving the structures in place to support families affected by valproate syndrome. The HSE has also begun the development of a Programme for Women's Health in Epilepsy, which will coordinate the national response to issues relating to sodium valproate. The Project report was not written with a view to publication; however, I will ask the HSE to consider doing so.
There are no plans to hold an independent inquiry at present.
I am aware of the French Government’s compensation scheme and the scheduled publication of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review in the UK later this month. I have asked officials to monitor developments on both of these issues.