May 12, 2022
Government cannot abandon families affected by valproate scandal – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has urged the government to progress plans for an inquiry into the valproate scandal.

The scandal emerged after pregnant women were prescribed valproate for conditions including epilepsy, despite the fact that the medication caused foetal defects.

A government inquiry into the scandal was announced 18 months ago, but the government has failed to establish the terms of reference of a timeline for the inquiry in the intervening period.

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Teachta Doherty told the Tánaiste:

“It has been 18 months since the Minister for Health, Deputy Stephen Donnelly, committed to holding an inquiry into the valproate scandal. Yet 18 months on there are still no terms of reference and no timeline for an inquiry.

“There is still no HSE Disability Pathway in place for families harmed. Tánaiste this has been raised with you here in the Dáil on numerous occasions with no clear response.

“Families who have suffered for decades deserve the truth. Hundreds of children were born in this state with serious health issues as a result of the prescribing of this drug.

“So Tánaiste, when will we see the terms of reference and what will the timeline for the inquiry be?”

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