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Dr Ron Behrens comments on the recent concern about mefloquine

September 11, 2015

'Benefits outweigh risk'

Two years ago, the US's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave mefloquine its strongest "black box safety warning" to highlight potential neurological and psychiatric side-effects.

But Dr Ron Behrens, a consultant advisor on tropical medicine to the Ministry of Defence, believes this was due to public anxiety rather than scientific evidence.

Dr Behrens, of the London School of Tropical Medicine, said: "It is my view that some of the policy decisions are based on litigation and public concerns above the science, particularly in America."

Manufacturer Roche said: "A recent regular safety assessment conducted by EU health authorities reinforced previous guidance that the benefits of Lariam outweigh the potential risk of the treatment."

The full story can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33943282

Dr Ron Behrens' interview on BBC Radio4 can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b065s996 (1:38)

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