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16 October 2017

MPs debate sodium valproate in House of Commons

  • MPs to debate safety issues around sodium valproate Thursday 19 October 2017

  • Contact your MP to encourage them to take part in the debate

  • Watch the debate live on Parliament Live TV.

House of Commons and Big Ben

This Thursday (19 October 2017), MPs will be meeting  in the House of Commons to debate safety issues around the epilepsy drug sodium valproate.

The debate has been tabled by Norman Lamb MP and will discuss systematic failure to inform women of the dangers of taking the epilepsy drug sodium valproate during pregnancy, resulting in thousands of children being born with physical disabilities and neurodevelopmental issues.

MPs will be discussing the findings of Epilepsy Society's survey, run in conjunction with Epilepsy Action and Young Epilepsy, which showed that 68 per cent of women taking the medication have not received a special valproate toolkit launched by the Medicines and Healthcare products Agency in February 2016. More than 2,000 girls and women of childbearing age took part in the survey.

The debate is expected to begin around 2pm, subject to changes in the parliamentary timetable.

Mr Lamb will be calling on the government to ensure wide distribution of the valproate toolkit to women prescribed sodium valproate and to healthcare professionals. He will also be asking for a care plan and financial assistance for the victims of sodium valproate and their families.

Contact your local MP

If you have been affected by sodium valproate, encourage your MP to participate in the debate by sharing your story with them. Personal stories are one of the most powerful ways to engage with your MP. Follow our two simple steps below:

  • Find out who your MP is
  • Write your own email or use our templated email below to message your MP via the 'send a message' link in the top left-hand corner of their website, accessed above.
Dear (name of MP)
At approximately 2pm this Thursday (19 October 2017) MPs will be meeting in the House of Commons to debate issues around the epilepsy drug sodium valproate.
The debate has been tabled by Norman Lamb MP and will discuss systematic failure to inform women of the dangers of taking the epilepsy drug sodium valproate during pregnancy, resulting in thousands of children being born with physical disabilities and neurodevelopmental issues.
MPs will be discussing the findings of Epilepsy Society's survey, run in conjunction with Epilepsy Action and Young Epilepsy, which showed that 68 per cent of women taking the medication have not received a special valproate toolkit launched by the Medicines and Healthcare products Agency in February 2016.
Epilepsy Society has prepared a briefing document in advance of the debate.
My personal story
It is very important to me that you attend this debate because:
Tell your MP how you and your family have been affected by sodium valproate. You may have a child diagnosed with fetal valproate or you may suspect that your child has fetal valproate syndrome.
It is also important to tell your MP if you have not received the valproate toolkit from your GP, epilepsy specialist or pharmacist.
Thank you.
Your name
Your address
Your phone number.

Watching the debate online

The debate is expected to begin around 2pm, subject to changes in the parliamentary timetable, and you can watch it live at www.parliamentlive.tv/Commons

Attending the debate

Members of the public are welcome to watch the debate from the public gallery. Viewing is free. Find out how you can attend.