MHRA: Medicines regulator launches call for evidence on previously licensed oral hormonal pregnancy tests

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has today launched a public call for evidence relating to the use of oral hormonal pregnancy tests (HPTs, which are no longer prescribed in the UK) and adverse effects relating to pregnancy including possible birth defects. HPTs such as Primodos were available in the 1960s and 1970s and were widely used to diagnose pregnancy. In 1967, a study raised initial concern that use of HPTs may be associated with birth defects. The then Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) kept this issue under review and in 1975 recommended that in view of the possible concern, and the availability of alternative methods, doctors should not use HPTs. These products were withdrawn from the market in the late 1970s.