New Consortium Provides Guidance on Medicines in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Dawn O'Shea

January 14, 2021

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced a new initiative to ensure pregnant and breastfeeding women can make informed decisions about their health care.

The Safer Medicines in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Consortium brings together 16 leading organisations spanning the NHS, regulators, medical and charitable organisations under a common pledge to meet the information needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women and health care professionals, through accessible, clear and consistent advice.

Work on this is already underway. A report published by the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) Expert Working Group on Optimising Data on Medicines used During Pregnancy has today (11 January 2021) provided recommendations on ways in which data on medicines used in pregnancy and breastfeeding can be better collected and made available for analysis.

Recommendations of the report include the better capture and linking of existing data, exploring new ways to collect relevant information on exposure to medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding and improving access to and quality of data to further enable research. The Consortium welcomes the recommendations of the report.

To support the aims of the Consortium, the MHRA has developed a webpage to assist users in finding information and projects related to medicines use in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Health care professionals are asked to report important inconsistencies in UK advice in this area. 

Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive and Chair of the Consortium, said: "We know that in many cases the information on taking medicines when pregnant or breastfeeding can be improved. I would encourage healthcare professionals to report any important inconsistencies you find on our webpage."

"There is vital work to be done, as started by the EWG report published today and continued by our new Consortium, which is addressing the issue head on. Today is an important step, and we are proud to have brought this partnership together."

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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