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Dangerous drug must not be administered to Irish troops overseas

17 May, 2012 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin Defence Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien questioned the Minister for Defence Alan Shatter on the practice of prescribing anti-malarial drug lariam to members of the Defence Forces in the context of pending legal actions against the Defence Forces as a result of this.

 The Cork North Central TD said;

 “Lariam is well known for the adverse psychological effects it can have on those taking it. I previously asked about the procedures for prescribing it and the minister told me that all members in the Defence Forces were “screened” before being prescribed lariam before being deployed to areas where Malaria is a threat.

 “I asked the minister how many personnel were screened, how many were deemed unsuitable for Lariam prescriptions and how many personnel were ruled out of being deployed overseas as a result. The minister did not have this information to hand. I will submit further questions to ascertain this information.

 “I understand that there are a number of legal proceedings pending against the department as a result of Lariam prescriptions. There are a number of questions to be asked about its use. The US Army no longer prescribes this potentially dangerous drug to its personnel and although it is not currently being prescribed to any personnel in Irish Defence Forces, I am calling upon the minister to ensure that no member of the Irish Defence Forces is put at risk as a result of being given lariam during future deployments.”


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