Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Darren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein)
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790. To ask the Minister for Health when the Valproate project response report will be published; if he will provide details of the recommendations in the report; if his attention has been drawn to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review in the UK and the compensation scheme for persons affected by foetal anti-convulsant syndrome in France; his plans to take a similar approach here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6763/20]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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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, it has been shared with the Organisation for Anticonvulsant Syndrome (OACS) Ireland charity.

There are no plans to hold an independent inquiry at present.

I am aware of the French Government’s compensation scheme and the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review in the UK. I understand that publication of the UK Review's report has now been postponed until early July. I have asked officials to monitor developments on both of these issues.


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