Fetal Valproate Syndrome: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 10th September 2020.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many children have been (a) exposed to Valproate in pregnancy, (b) harmed by Valproate in pregnancy and (c) diagnosed with Fetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder since April 2018.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women of child bearing potential receive prescriptions for Valproate in England.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has been monitoring trends in the prescribing of sodium valproate in women and girls to assess the impact of regulatory restrictions including the introduction of the Pregnancy Prevention Programme in April 2018.

The number of pregnancies estimated to have been exposed to valproate in the United Kingdom during 2018 and 2019 were 370 and 190 respectively. These estimates are extrapolated from data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink as national data are not collected. No data are available on the number of children harmed by valproate or the number of diagnoses with Fetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder since 2018.

Data from the NHS Business Services Authority show that in the second quarter (April-June) of 2020 13,574 women of child-bearing age (14-45 years) were dispensed with a prescription for valproate in England.

The MHRA is working on developing a valproate registry, the main aims of which would be to monitor the use of valproate in girls and women in the UK and compliance with the current regulatory requirements, and to identify and monitor outcomes in any children born to women on valproate.

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