The taintedblood Timeline - what really happened...
"To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay, right or justice."
Magna Carta - 15th June, 1215
No of entries selected: 10 of 711
MRC - Human Growth Hormone - Clinical Trial
The Medical Research Council runs a growth hormone programme as a clinical trial which commences in 1959 and runs until 1 July 1977. Between 1959 and 1985, nearly 2000 children are treated with the growth hormone, which is extracted from the pituitaries of cadavers (dead bodies).
Dr Alan Dickinson (MRC) on Risk of CJD in Human Growth Hormone
In October 1976, Dr Alan Dickinson, a veterinary scientist of the Agricultural Research Council, who is working on scrapie, telephones the MRC to alert officials to the risk of transmission of CJD through human growth hormone.
Department of Health - Human Growth Hormone Programme
The MRC human growth hormone programme is taken over by the Department of Health in 1977.
Dr Alan Dickinson - Safety of Human Growth Hormone
In a letter in February 1977, Dr Alan Dickinson, veterinary scientist, makes 4 suggestions to improve the safety of the human growth hormone. Two suggestions are never acted upon, a third is only partly implemented, and the fourth - which is to exclude the use of pituitaries from cases with dementia - is not put into force until 1980.
MRC - Professor Cedric Mims / Professor Peter Wildy - Virologists
Two virologists, Professor Cedric Mims of Guy's Hospital and Professor Peter Wildy of Cambridge University, are consulted by the MRC, but not until December 1977. Professor Wildy replies: "Any clinician who uses growth hormone must be made aware of the gruesome possibilities and their imponderable probabilities."
MRC - Human Growth Hormone and Pituitaries
The MRC no longer has the responsibility for collecting and processing pituitaries as of 1980.
Dr Alan Dickinson - Human Growth Hormone - Pituitaries
From 1980, the use of growth hormone from pituitaries of cases with dementia is now excluded.
MRC - Human Growth Hormone - CJD
The human growth hormone programme discontinues in 1985 following reports of the first deaths from CJD in the United States, after which synthetic hormone is used.
Clare Dyer, Legal Correspondent - Human Growth Hormone / CJD
In the first compensation claim over a pharmaceutical product over deaths from CJD to succeed in the British courts, Mr Justice Morland rules that the two bodies, Medical Research council (MRC) and the Department of Health were negligent in not passing on concerns raised by scientists that would probably have led to the human growth hormone treatment's suspension from July 1977.
Mr Justice Morland stated that the Scientific Steering Committee overseeing the manufacture of the hormone were told, the Clinicians' Committee is "deliberately kept in the dark".
Clare Dyer, Legal Correspondent - BMJ - Growth Hormone / CJD
Mr Justice Morland, the judge handling the litigation, ruled in 1996 that the Medical Research Council (MRC), which ran the growth hormone programme from 1959, was negligent from 1 July 1977 in failing to pass on warnings from scientists that the hormone could be contaminated by the infective agent for CJD.
That ruling resulted in compensation in 8 cases in which treatment had started after that date. Two other cases in which treatment was finished before that date were ineligible for compensation.
Timeline Copyright ©2006 Andrew March & Haydn Lewis
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