Parliamentry Questions


All original content copyright Emma4facs 2012 – 2014

Parliamentry Questions

Below is a list of Parliamentry Questions that have been submitted in the last 12 months on behalf of INFACT. The writing in Bold, Italics is the question the MP has submitted and the reply is underneath

1)
Mr Ronnie Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of pregnant women between the ages of 18 to 54 taking anti-epileptic drugs received information and counselling about contraception and conception in 2012.

Anna Soubry: This information is not held centrally.
Clinicians are responsible for meeting the individual health care needs of their patients, and would be expected to provide high quality contraception and conception advice to patients with epilepsy as part of their programme of care.

2)
Mr Ronnie Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the advice on training given to prescribing physicians under the quality and outcomes framework on the effect of anti-epileptic medications during pregnancy.

Norman Lamb: The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) produce guidance which sits alongside the Quality and Outcomes Framework on the prescribing of anti-epileptic drugs during pregnancy. NHS England has advised that they would expect clinicians to follow NICE guidance. The guidance can be found at:
http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG137
2 July 2013 : Column 544W

3)
Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many children with a diagnosis of fetal valproate syndrome also have a diagnosis of (a) spina bifida, (b) neural tube defects, (c) cardiac and heart malformations, (d) kidney malformations and (e) cleft lip or palate;

(4) how many children were diagnosed with fetal anti-convulsant syndrome between 1989 and 2012.
Dr Poulter: The information requested is not collected centrally.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre advise their clinical coders are unable to identify fetal anti-convulsant syndrome using the ICD10 classification of diseases that is used in the Hospital Episode Statistics. Therefore they are unable to supply any data for these questions.

5)
Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the potential implications for the benefits system of the effects of sodium valproate on (a) the women who took it during their pregnancy and (b) their children.

Mr Hoban: Although we record the conditions of people claiming disability benefits and other benefits relating to their condition, we do not record the specific causes of their condition ie disability due to mother taking prescribed drugs during pregnancy which caused birth defects.

(6)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) what information and advice his Department has given to women of child-bearing age on the recommendations of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence concerning sodium valproate;
(2) what information is given to women of child-bearing age when prescribed the Epilim form of sodium valproate on the potential effects of that drug on mental health.

Daniel Poulter (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Conservative)
Although there is no substitute for a full and comprehensive discussion with the health care team, we have supplemented this with guidance available on the NHS Choices website, which reflects the recommendations of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
NHS Choices’ Pregnancy Planner provides information on the issues women with long-term or chronic conditions may need to consider before and during pregnancy. This includes information on drug treatment to control epileptic seizures, which can be found at the following link:
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/epilepsy-pregnant.aspx
In addition, more detailed information on the use of sodium valproate and considerations in family planning and pregnancy is also available on NHS Choices within its medicine guides pages, which can be found at the following link:

(7)
Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason pre-conception counselling for women of child-bearing age taking anti-convulsant medication recommended in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Guidelines is not being provided across the board within the UK. [165197]

Norman Lamb: The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced clinical guidelines which sit alongside the Quality and Outcomes Framework on the prescribing of anti-epileptic drugs during pregnancy. The guidance can be found at:
http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG137
NICE clinical guidelines are based on a thorough assessment of the available evidence and are developed through wide consultation with stakeholders. They represent best practice but implementation in England is not mandatory for the national health service. The adoption of NICE clinical guidelines in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved administrations.
The NICE guidelines on the prescribing of anti-epileptic drugs during pregnancy contains detailed information on counselling prior to pregnancy and recommends referral to a specialist if required for further advice. NHS England has advised that they would expect clinicians to follow NICE guidance.

(8)
Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will request that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issue regular caution in use warnings to general practitioners relating to the risks posed by taking sodium valproate during pregnancy. [155921]

Dr Poulter: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have ensured that warnings about the potential for sodium valproate to cause birth defects in animals and possible related hazards to women of childbearing age have been in the product information available to healthcare professionals since the time of licensing in 1972.
As new data have emerged the product information supplied to all doctors and the Patient Information Leaflets available with the medicine have been updated in a timely manner and in accordance with legal and regulatory guidance to reflect the known side effects including new information with regards to the safety of use during pregnancy.
The MHRA is committed to carefully reviewing any new evidence of risk and informing healthcare professionals and patients about any changes to the way the product should be used through changes to the product information and patient information leaflets.
Any new prescribing advice is also brought to the attention of prescribers in the monthly MHRA bulletin Drug Safety Update. The MHRA has issued three articles on the risks associated with the use of sodium valproate during pregnancy in Drug Safety Update and its predecessor, Current Problems in Pharmacovigilance and will continue to do so as new information emerges.
The product information for all medicines containing sodium valproate contains detailed advice in relation to its use during pregnancy. It is currently advised that women of childbearing potential should not be started on sodium valproate unless clearly necessary (i.e. in situations where other treatments are ineffective or not tolerated).
21 May 2013 : Column 745W
(9)
Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will collect data centrally on the diagnosis of fetal valproate syndrome; [166858]

(2) if he will collect data centrally on the diagnosis of fetal valproate syndrome where there is also a diagnosis of (a) spina bifida, (b) neural tube defects, (c) cardiac and heart malformations, (d) kidney malformations and (e) cleft lip or palate; [166859]
(3) if he will collect data centrally on the diagnosis of children with fetal anti-convulsant syndrome between 1989 and 2012; [166860]
(4) how he plans to collect data centrally on the diagnosis of fetal valproate syndrome and sodium valproate in pregnancy. [166861]
Dr Poulter: There are no plans to collect data centrally on the diagnosis of fetal valproatesyndrome, the diagnosis of children with fetal anti-convulsant syndrome between 1989 and 2012 or the diagnosis of fetal valproate syndrome and sodium valproate use in pregnancy.

(10)
Frank Field MP
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what drugs are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for pregnant women susceptible to convulsive fits; and what the cost per prescription is of such drugs.

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe, Conservative)
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has not recommended any drugs specifically for the treatment of pregnant women susceptible to convulsive fits.
Epilepsy is one of the main causes of convulsive fits. An updated clinical guideline on the diagnosis and management of epilepsy in adults (including pregnant women) and children in primary and secondary care which includes recommendations on the use of anti-epileptic drugs was published by NICE on 25 January 2012.

(11)

7 April 2014

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations his Department received before the removal of pre-conception counselling for women taking anti-epilepsy medications from the Quality Outcomes Framework; [194769]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the risks of removing pre-conception counselling for women taking anti-epilepsy medications from the Quality Outcomes Framework. [194770]

Dr Poulter: Senior NHS England clinicians and representatives of the British Medical Association reviewed and agreed all the proposed changes to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) taking into account the views of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England.

The removal of QOF indicators will not mean that general practitioners (GPs) will no longer tackle important health issues such as pre-conception counselling for women taking anti-epilepsy medication. Rather, the aim is that reducing QOF will help free up time to enable GPs to spend more time on providing more proactive co-ordinated and individual care for their patients, based on their clinical judgment.

Since 1 January 2014, Ministers have not had any meetings to specifically discuss the removal of pre-conception counselling for women taking anti-epilepsy medications from the QOF.

 

30 April 2014

 

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 7 April 2014, Official Report, column 38W, on epilepsy, what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department had before 1 January to discuss the removal of pre-conception counselling for women taking anti-epilepsy medications from the Quality and Outcomes Framework; and how many such meetings were with Sanofi. [196753]

Norman Lamb: There have been no meetings involving Ministers or officials with Sanofi on the removal of the indicator in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) regarding pre-conception counselling for women taking anti-epilepsy medications.

The changes to the QOF are part of a wide ranging set of changes to the general practitioner (GP) contract for 2014-15. It is intended that these contract changes will encourage GPs and their practice teams to provide more personalised and proactive care for patients.

Changes to the QOF were negotiated with the General Practitioners Committee, which is part of the British Medical

 

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