Today, Birmingham Health Partners and the University of Birmingham have published their report Healthy Mum, Healthy Baby, Healthy Future, which launches the case for UK leadership in the development of medicines that are safe, effective and accessible for use during pregnancy.
We welcome the report and the opportunity our Chief Executive, Clea Harmer, has had to give evidence to the Commission in her role as Chair of The Pregnancy and Babies Charities Network.
“The publication of this report should be a pivotal moment in the campaign for pregnant women’s access to safe and effective medicines, without risk or fear of negative consequences to themselves or their unborn child.”
“It is encouraging that the report’s recommendations include the need for advocacy in pregnancy and women’s health. Better advocacy would ensure we are sending clear and consistent messages to pregnant women around medicines in pregnancy, and undoubtedly lead to better outcomes for women and babies.
“We are also reassured that the issue of inequalities features in this report, as we know that historically, only 2.1% of health research in the UK has been spent on reproductive health and childbirth.”
The report notes, ‘Reproduction and childbirth is a ‘Cinderella’ area of research. It receives neither the funding, attention, nor status that other areas of science and health research garner.’
Clea added, “Lastly, we are pleased to see the final recommendation outlines the importance of implementing a Steering Group to deliver the recommendations, with ‘women with experience of pregnancy complications’ at the centre of this group.”
Sands is working hard to save babies’ lives, and we recognise that parents have unique insights into their pregnancy and birth. That’s why Sands makes sure their voices are heard in research and reviews of their care, so there is learning from every tragedy.
If the UK is to be the safest place in the world to have a baby, we need a culture of openness and transparency. There would be a focus on avoidable harm and not on blame, and an open discussion about the risks associated with developing new drugs balanced against the risks of not doing this.
To read the report in full, visit: sands.org.uk/medicines-for-mums.
Today’s report may have been uncomfortable or upsetting to hear for those who have been affected by pregnancy loss or the death of a baby. We are here to support anyone who needs us. Please visit our Support For You page to learn more.