Many lives have been ruined because officials failed to hear the concerns of women given drugs and procedures that caused them or their babies considerable harm, says a review.
More than 700 women and their families shared "harrowing" details about vaginal mesh, Primodos and an epilepsy drug called sodium valproate. Too often worries and complaints were dismissed as "women's problems". It says arrogant attitudes left women traumatised, intimidated and confused.
June Wray, 73 and from Newcastle, experienced chronic pain after having a vaginal mesh procedure in 2009.
"Sometimes the pain is so severe, I feel like I will pass out. But when I told GPs and surgeons, they didn't believe me. They just looked at me like I was mad."
The chairwoman of the highly critical review, Baroness Julia Cumberlege, said the families affected deserved a fulsome apology from the government.
She said: "I have conducted many reviews and inquiries over the years, but I have never encountered anything like this; the intensity of suffering experienced by so many families, and the fact that they have endured it for decades. Much of this suffering was entirely avoidable, caused and compounded by failings in the health system itself."
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Source: BBC News, 8 July 2020