Pregnancy Tests

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th February 2018.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to fund independent scientific research into hormone pregnancy tests; and whether they are planning to set up an independent public inquiry into such tests.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Commission on Human Medicines Expert Working Group on Hormone Pregnancy Tests was established in 2015 to consider all the available evidence on the possible association between exposure in pregnancy to hormone pregnancy tests and adverse outcomes in pregnancy. The Expert Working Group conducted a comprehensive, scientifically robust and independent review of all available scientific evidence relating to hormone pregnancy tests including the responses to a public call for evidence. In reaching its conclusion that, taking all aspects into consideration, the available evidence did not support a causal association between the use of hormone pregnancy tests during early pregnancy, the Expert Working Group made a number of forward-looking recommendations to further strengthen the scientific evidence which supports safety monitoring of medicines in pregnancy. The current focus of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is on implementing these recommendations.

The Government’s priority, as always, is the safety of patients. While there are no plans to fund independent scientific research into hormone pregnancy tests (which have not been available since 1978), should any further evidence emerge of direct relevance to hormone pregnancy tests the MHRA will evaluate this. In addition, certain recommendations of the Expert Working Group’s review are anticipated to encourage relevant research into the safety of medicines in pregnancy.

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