Primodos legal challenge gathers momentum for HJA solicitor
11th April 2011
New evidence links birth deformities to 1970s hormone drug
A client of Hodge Jones & Allen, Karl Murphy, has discovered
30 year old evidence buried in his loft which may confirm a
suspected link between the drug Primodos and birth deformities,
similar to those caused by Thalidomide. When Karl was born he had
several fingers and toes missing. His mother was given Primodos in
This has opened the door to a number of fresh claims for
compensation by children born at this time who suspect the drug has
contributed to their deformity. Solicitor
Peter Todd, a specialist vaccine and drug injury compensation
lawyer who heads up the Hodge Jones & Allen personal injury
team, is leading the case on behalf of Karl and his family.
Peter comments: "We must remember that the link has not yet been
proven, however, given that the evidence has not been assessed for
nearly 30 years, I feel it is both right that the decision is
reviewed, particularly in light of what we now know about this
"More than 1,000 people in the UK claim to
have been affected by this drug, and it’s thought it may have
contributed to some pregnancies ending in miscarriage. Given that
in many senses there are a lot of similarities with the Thalidomide
case, it’s important to look at this again.
"If after a review it is still the case that a
link cannot be established, everyone can be reassured that the drug
was not to blame. It must be remembered that between three
and five per cent of births involve some sort of defect and the
reason is not known in many cases. On the other hand, if science
has established a probable link, then the people who have been
affected have suffered a great injustice and it would be important
that they are compensated."
Linda Lee, president of the Law Society has issued a statement
on this case: "Drug cases are very difficult cases, involving
extensive expert evidence. They would be almost impossible to bring
without the assistance of legal aid. It is important to ensure a
very high quality of assessment of the merits of such claims is
undertaken, in order to ensure that public money is not spent
"However, if legal aid is removed entirely from such cases, as
would be the likely effect of the Government's proposed reforms,
then the prospects of holding any drug company to account for harm
caused by their products will be minimal."
Primodos is being called 'the forgotten Thalidomide'. It was a
tablet, taken orally to test for pregnancy, which first became
available in 1959. Following concerns by doctors in its early
stages, the drug was taken off the market by its German
manufacturer, Schering - later owned by Bayer.
A decision as to whether legal aid will be granted for the case
is to be made next Tuesday 19th April.
Although many families claimed the drug had caused deformities
in their children, in 1982 lawyers advised there was insufficient
evidence and the matter didn’t go any further.
Read corresponding articles at Sky News
The Press Association
For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Ewbank on firstname.lastname@example.org /
020 7874 8345.