Chair appointed to epilepsy drug inquiry

The Government has appointed Bríd O’Flaherty BL to lead an inquiry into the use of sodium valproate among pregnant women in Ireland due to the high risk of developmental disorders and malformations in children exposed to the drug in the womb. The non-statutory inquiry will review the prescription of the drug and Ireland’s health service’s ability to address safety concerns. The inquiry will last for 12 months with a possible extension. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced the appointment, emphasizing the importance of putting patients and families at the core of the process. The inquiry was initiated after campaigning by OACS Ireland to address the impact of sodium valproate on affected families.

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