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Covid-19 update: Business as usual at Bolt Burdon Kemp

Bolt Burdon Kemp continues to remain very much open for business. We are passionate about achieving life-changing results for our clients, providing excellent client care and ensuring you receive the support you need.

We continue to progress our clients’ existing cases and support new clients with their cases.

All of our wonderful people are successfully working from home. We have re-opened our office so that those who need to work in the office are able to do so, in a socially distanced and safe manner. 

Our strategy of working in teams continues to ensure there is always someone for you to talk to. We are using telephone and video-conferencing very effectively. A number of multi-million pound cases have settled since the virus outbreak, using these facilities.

We are determined more than ever that the wheels of justice will keep on turning.

Contact us on 020 7288 4800 or and one of our team will get in touch with you.

Read more from Managing Partner, Jonathan Wheeler

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Won't shy away from difficult cases
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Lariam debunked by Defence Committee

The House of Commons Defence Committee has today published its report into the use of Lariam for military personnel.

View a copy of the report (pdf) and press release

The report is heavily critical of the MoD’s failure to adhere to its own policies in respect of the way Lariam has been prescribed and makes several recommendations for the use of Lariam in the future.

Failures by the MoD

The Committee condemns the MoD’s prescription of a drug known to have neuropsychiatric side effects and vestibular disorders without face-to-face interviews as “a lamentable weakness in the MoD’s Duty of Care towards service personnel.”

The Committee accepts the anecdotal evidence that was heard during the course of the inquiry that the MoD ignored the conditions which needed to be met for Lariam to be prescribed safely in dispensing medication to service personnel on mass without individual risk assessments taking place.

The Committee also criticises the current care provided to those who have suffered with side-effects after taking Lariam and deems the current arrangements inadequate.

Recommendations – ‘drug of last resort’

The report concludes that Lariam should be designated as a ‘drug of last resort’ and that it should only be prescribed where:

  • An individual is 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 alternative medication available and has been given the choice between Lariam and another suitable anti-malarial drug.

The Committee found that there is no justification for the continued use of Lariam save where these three conditions have been met.  While the committee does not call for an outright ban, it is clear that the continued use of Lariam is highly unlikely save for exceptional cases where there are no alternatives.

The Committee also recommends that the MoD establish a single point of contact for all current and former Service personnel who have concerns about their experience of Lariam and that this point of contact should be widely publicised. This hopefully means that those who have suffered with side-effects will now receive the appropriate care and treatment.

Where it has failed to comply with its own policies and risk assessments, the MoD should be held accountable to those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, with the harmful side-effects of Lariam.

We act on behalf of military personnel who were given Lariam during their service. If you have suffered after taking Lariam please contact a member of our team.

I am a solicitor at Bolt Burdon Kemp specialising in military claims. If you think you have suffered an injury that could have been avoided, you can contact me free of charge and in confidence on 020 7288 4818 or at Alternatively, you can complete this form and one of the solicitors in the team will contact you. You can find out more about the Military team.

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