Current and former service personnel who claim their health has been severely affected by the anti-malaria drug Lariam are preparing to take legal action against the Ministry of Defence. The action comes following a statement released last month by the MoD which reports that Lariam was not the Ministry of Defence’s first choice of anti-malarial vaccine. This statement was later rescinded after being branded as misleading by the MoD.
The legal representation for those seeking compensation have argued that while in the civilian world people are allowed to make choices over vaccinations for themselves the armed forces do not have that luxury. They are forced in to taking whatever vaccine the MoD sees fit to give its troops. The core of the complaints come after the manufacturer of Lariam, Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffmann–La Roche, reiterated that their product should not be given to certain individuals. It is claimed that the MoD did not take appropriate measures to ensure that all those who received the vaccine were safe to do so which violates UK employment laws. This has resulted in some individuals reportedly suffering from medical and psychological problems.
Lt. Col. Ashley Croft, who served for more than 25 years in the Royal Army Medical Corps and is an expert on malaria, told the Sunday Express newspaper
I’ve been warning against the dangerous side effects of Lariam for many years…From what I’m hearing the Ministry of Defence knows the game is up.