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Tuesday, 19 September 1972
Page: 983

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   Did the Minister on 5th July announce the membership of a newly formed body to advise him on the possible relationship between the use of certain drugs and abnormalities in babies.

(2)   Does the Minister agree that the well-known Sydney gynaecologist, Dr W. G. McBride, has been one of the world's outstanding researchers in the side-effects of drugs, and that he was one of the first in the world to point out the defects of the drug thalidomide.

(3)   Was Dr McBride considered for appointment to the congenital abnormalities subcommittee: if so, why was he not appointed.

Senator GREENWOOD-The Acting Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   Dr McBride'srole in alerting the community to the association between thalidomide and congenital abnormalities is acknowledged.

(3)   The Congenital Abnormalities SubCommittee is a Sub-committee of the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee, Members were selected for their expertise in the following fields of medicine - paediatrics, obstetrics, foetal development, pharmacology, epidemiology clinical medicine and therapeutics. I am advised that the most appropriate and available person in each of these specialities was chosen.

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