Moray SNP News
‘WELLBEING OF OUR TROOPS MUST BE THE BEST IT CAN BE’ - ROBERTSON
Moray’s MP Angus Robertson has welcomed a House of Commons Defence Select Committee report on controversial anti-malarial drug Lariam as a “step forward” towards ensuring that the drug is not prescribed to serving personnel in the future.
The report is the culmination of more than six months work by the committee. It recommends Lariam should only be used as a ‘drug of last resort’ by the armed forces, and is only prescribed when no suitable alternatives are available – bringing the UK into line with most of its closest allies.
With several thousand service personnel based in Moray, local MP Mr Robertson says the report is of significant importance to many people in the area.
Angus Robertson commented:
“There has been widespread concern about side effects from the use of Lariam - including hallucinations and psychosis. The SNP has argued for an outright ban as our preferred solution but the recommendation of the committee that it should be a ‘drug of last resort’ is certainly a big step forward.
“In Moray we have two busy military bases with personnel regularly deployed around the world. We all know that when travelling abroad it is necessary to take preventative drugs and receive vaccinations to reduce risk of serious illness but we also need to know that the drugs being administered are appropriate and that risk for individuals is properly assessed.
“The MoD has a duty of care to all of its personnel and the wellbeing of our troops must be the best it can be. Serious concerns about their ability to deliver their duty of care which were plainly evident during the committee’s inquiry.
“While Lariam is not always used there are clearly identified risks with its use and I hope that the MoD’s response to this inquiry will limit its use even further to ensure our troops get the best possible care, when it comes to the administering of drugs before and during deployments.”