The high court in London has struck out a bid by families who believe their babies were harmed to sue the pharmaceutical company behind the hormone-based pregnancy test Primodos.
Scientists first published concerns about birth defects in the 1960s, a decade before the tests were withdrawn, but the evidence for a causal link remains contentious.Primodos was an oral hormonal pregnancy test introduced to the UK in the late 1950s.
It involved taking two pills on consecutive days containing norethisterone, a synthetic progesterone, and ethinyl estradiol, an artificial oestrogen.
If a woman was not pregnant, the pills would trigger a period, meaning no bleeding indicated pregnancy. The concentration of the hormones was high – one dose of Primodos contained about 40 times the level in modern contraceptive pills.In 1967, Isabel Gal, a paediatrician at Queen Mary’s hospital for children, in Surrey, published findings suggesting a link between Primodos and birth defects.Read more on theguardian.com