The use of large up-front fees and disproportionate deposits has already resulted in significant cost consequences for one care provider.
However, sometimes epilepsy medication can cause harm to the patient or even their unborn child. This is particularly the case with Sodium Valproate, which goes by the brand names Epilim and Depakote.
Next week, women whose children have been harmed by this drug will give evidence to a European-wide safety review that will examine whether warnings about risks to unborn babies are strong enough.
All medication – not just Sodium Valproate – of course, has side-effects and risks. These must be weighed up against the benefits of medication. In order to weigh up the pros and cons, the patient and treating team must know what the risks and side-effects could be. Worryingly, this has not always been the case with Epilim – and I can say that from personal experience when I took the drug some years ago.
Sodium Valproate/Epilim used to be a very common medication for people with epilepsy, but for many years it has been known that Epilim increases the risk of a baby born to a mother taking Epilim suffering physical abnormalities and cognitive impairments. Babies exposed to Epilim/Sodium Valproate in the womb have a 10% chance of developing physical abnormalities and a 4 in 10 chance of developing cognitive problems, such as learning disabilities and autism. Evidence of this risk emerged back in the 1980s, but for years many patients have not been told about the risk. Medical advice now is that Epilim/Sodium Valproate should not be used during pregnancy unless there is no safer alternative and only after a careful discussion of the risks.
There is currently a group action in France against the drug company which makes Sodium Valproate, Sanofi. In the past, there was also a group action in the UK.
Whilst drug companies must give comprehensive and clear advice on all side-effects and potential risks, the responsibility to inform a patient and weigh up the pros and cons does not fall solely to the drug company. A patient's treating doctor must advise the patient about the side-effects and risks. The doctor might have been negligent if she fails to do so.
Doctors are under a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments. A significant risk is one which would affect the judgment of a reasonable patient. Surely a 10% risk of a baby developing physical abnormalities and a 25% risk of cognitive problems is a significant risk that doctors should make all patients aware of so that they can make their own decision about their life and that of future children.
The government announced on 16 May that it will provide a fund of £400m to cover the costs of removal and replacement of cladding to high rise residential blocks which have failed tests.
Whilst some people are under the impression that preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is simply a case of completing a form and ticking a few boxes, it is about far more than this.
A big fear for some people facing divorce and the inevitable carving up of the matrimonial assets. They seek assurances that such assets will be “ring-fenced” and retained for them.
Thinking about the legal status of being a cohabitant probably isn’t at the top of the ‘to do’ list.
When an individual is thinking about making a gift to another individual, consideration needs to be given to the Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) trap.
We are now only a few weeks away from the biggest change to data protection laws in over 20 years. Are you compliant?
The tragedy, in this case, is that there were options readily available to the midwives that they could have used. This was not a case of having to go above and beyond.
Arising from the recent Family Division announcement, people who think they are legally divorced may in fact still be married.
The SCCS has issued providers in the scheme a series of updated and new documents in order to assist with their National Minimum Wage review.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.