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'Great day for safety': Patients harmed by drugs and devices back commissioner role

PUBLISHED

An Independent Patients' Commissioner is set to be appointed to act as champion for people who have been harmed by medicines or medical devices.   

Baroness Cumberlege, who recommended the new role in a landmark report earlier this year, announced that the government had budged on the issue after initial resistance.

She welcomed the move saying: "Had there been a patient safety commissioner before now, much of the suffering we have witnessed could have been avoided."

But she added "the risk still remains" and further urgent action is needed to protect patients from potentially harmful drugs."

At an online meeting of parliamentarians, the baroness described the testimony of a victim of the medical device vaginal mesh, which has left some patients in chronic pain.

The woman had told her review team: "This device took everything from me. My health, my life, my job, my dignity, my marriage, my freedom."

Reflecting on this the baroness added: "The scale of suffering we witnessed means nothing short of profound change is necessary. Not necessary in a couple or three years, but necessary now."

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Source: Sky News, 16 December 2020

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