'DANGERS OF LARIAM'

The Times – 2 September 2016

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman (September 1) claims that the Defence Committee concluded that

“in some cases, Lariam will be the most effective way”

of protecting soldiers from malaria. This puts a gloss on our findings, which were strongly critical of the use of this drug in the past. Although accepting that there are

“a very limited number of occasions when its prescription may be necessary”,

we stated that

“the MoD should designate Lariam as a ‘drug of last resort’ and that prescribing it should be restricted ... only to those who are unable to tolerate any of the available alternatives; only after a face-to-face individual risk assessment has been conducted; and only after the patient has been made aware of the alternatives”.

We found

“very strong anecdotal evidence that such conditions have been ignored in dispensing [Lariam] to large numbers of troops”

previously, despite the manufacturer’s clear guidelines.

Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
Chairman, Defence Committee
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA