The Defence Committee has written to the Ministry of Defence requesting information on the use of Lariam. The text of the letter is set out below:
The use of Lariam has come under increasing scrutiny and it is clear that the drug does not command the universal support of members of our Armed Forces. The number of cases of military personnel reporting serious side-effects after taking Lariam is deeply disturbing and, as a consequence, the Defence Committee is minded to conduct an investigation into its use.
It would therefore assist us if you would supply the Committee with the following information:
1. When the Ministry of Defence last undertook an assessment of the safety of Lariam and whether any health risks were highlighted in that assessment.
2. What plans the Ministry of Defence has to reassess the safety of Lariam in the light of recent concerns raised by military personnel.
3. How many complaints the MoD has received from military personnel about side-effects following the use of Lariam and how these have been resolved.
4. What the Department’s policy is for the (a) immediate, (b) medium-term and (c) long-term treatment of military personnel who have suffered detrimental side-effects of using Lariam.
5. Why individual risk assessments were not carried out before 2013 when usage guidelines issued by the manufacturer stated that such assessments should be undertaken.
6. What information the MoD sought from the US and Canada on their experience of issuing Lariam to their armed forces.
It would help the Committee if we could receive a substantive response by Tuesday 22 September.
Image: Ministry of Defence