The Sandbag Times Issue No: 20


The Veterans' Magazine

26 May 2016

Warnings ignored by MoD over Larium

The Ministry of Defence has

been accused in a highly critical

parliamentary report of ignoring

manufacturers’ warnings of the

risks in using the controversial

anti-malarial drug, Lariam,

leaving, as a result, servicemen

and women to face severe sideeffects.

The help subsequently

provided by the MoD to those

who were affected by the drug

was inadequate and the system

of duty-of-care needed to be

overhauled, the Commons

Defence Committee has stated.

It has been revealed that the

report by the Defence Select

Committee was to call for

Lariam to be banned except in

very restricted circumstances.

The MoD now faces legal action

from hundreds of victims in the

military, many of whom say that

their lives have been shattered

by being given Lariam. Dr

Julian Lewis, the chairman of

the Committee, pointed out that

the high-risk of taking the drug

had been highlighted by its

makers, Roche, who had laid

down the “It is our firm

conclusion that there is neither

the need, nor any justification

for continuing to issue this

medication to Service personnel

unless they can be individually

assessed in accordance with the

manufacturers’ requirements.

And – most of the time – –that is

simply impossible, when a

Prince Harry admits to war flashbacks

Prince Harry who served two

combat tours in Afghanistan has

openly spoke out having

flashback. In 2013, Prince

Harry shocked reporters with a

candid assessment of the five

months he had spent supporting

ground troops as an Apache

helicopter pilot during his

second combat tour in

Afghanistan. In an interview

conducted with reporters prior to

departing Afghanistan, Harry,

then 28 years old, admitted to

killing insurgents. “If there’s

people trying to do bad stuff to

our guys, then we’ll take them

out of the game,” he said. “Take

a life to save a life.” That was

more than three years ago. Now,

Harry, who left the British Army

in 2015, admits that he’s still

struggling to cope with some of

the things he experienced

overseas. “I described it to

someone ages ago as one of

those slide shows that go

through your mind,” Harry

recently told Sky News. “If

you’ve got a good imagination

as well, everything that you see,

especially if it’s something that

is quite powerful, then that slide

is in there.” Harry was speaking

to promote the Invictus Games,

a Paralympic sporting event for

wounded service members from

militaries around the world,

which he launched in 2014. It’s

clear that Harry’s time in

Afghanistan continues to shape

the way he perceives himself.

Royalty or not, he’s still a

combat veteran, albeit an

extraordinarily influential one.

Of the wounded soldiers that

competed in the Invictus Games

this year, he said: “You know

there are images I’ve been lucky

enough not to see, but there

have been images that I’ve been

unfortunate to see, nothing like

some of these guys.” Prince

Harry continues to recognise

and help veterans with PTSD.

sudden, mass deployment of

hundreds of troops is necessary.”

The report strongly

recommended that Lariam

should only be prescribed under

strict stipulations. It should only

be given to those who cannot

tolerate alternative medication,

only after a choice has been

offered between drugs and then

only after a face-to-face risk

assessment had been carried out.

The law firm Hilary Meredith

Solicitors say they have already

been contacted by 470 former

military personnel prescribed

Lariam who have suffered from

a range of side effects including

hallucinations, severe

depression, sleep deprivation

and anxiety. Read more here.

Veteran set for epic sailing challenge

AN AIR crewman from Sticker

medically discharged from the

Navy after having a “nasty”

accident has been given “a new

lease of life” as he prepares to

embark on a 2,000 trip around

the coast of Britain next

month. Eddie Wrigglesworth is

one of a chosen few who will

harness the power of the wind

on June 1 when they sail 2,200

miles as part of Turn to

Starboard’s Round Britain

Challenge 2016. Turn to

Starboard is a charity based in

Cornwall using Royal Yachting

Association (RYA) courses to

support armed forces personnel

- serving or retired - who have

been affected by military

operations. Eddie, 33, has lost

all movement in his wrist after

having it fused back together

following an accident when he

was winched down from a

helicopter onto a boat in rough

seas. His hand was crushed by

the boat. Read more here.

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