Shatter dismisses link between anti-malaria drug and soldiers’ suicidesPosted: June 18, 2013
The death rate among Defence Forces personnel from self-inflicted injuries during that period was 0.24 per cent, he added – while in the previous 11-year period, where the drug was not prescribed, the equivalent rate was 0.32 per cent.
“The Defence Forces are fully aware of range of the reported side-effects attaching to all anti-malarial medications,” he said.
Pressed by Sinn Féin’s Padraig Mac Lochlainn as to why other countries had stopped using the drug, apparently having been alerted to the same concerns, Shatter said the United States had stopped administering it “due to concerns about inadvertent prescribing of the drug of soldiers who should not take it”.
“The US authorities undertook mass administration to Larium for soldiers serving in areas subject to malaria, without any individual screening of personnel,” he said.
By comparison, select Irish personnel were prescribed the drug for brief periods before travelling, so that any negative reaction could be identified before they departed for duty.