General Richards: “If the Use of Lariam is Banned it Would Not Be Before Time”

Kim Sengupta, British armed forces set to ban most prescriptions of controversial anti-malarial drug Lariam, The Independent, 23 May 2016.

A number of senior officers say that recognition of the dangerous side-effects that the use of Lariam  is long overdue. General Lord Richards, the former head of the British military, told The Independent that measures should be taken to implement the recommendations in the report, due out on Tuesday, without delay.

It is understood that as Chief of Defence Staff, General Richards had raised the issue of concern over the drug within the Ministry of Defence. He said today “If the use of Lariam is banned, or even restricted, it would not be before time. There has been worry for a very long time over the use of Lariam, I know personally from when we were serving in Sierra Leone in 2000. We know people who have been affected by this drug. I certainly hope that appropriate steps are taken as soon as possible.”

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General Sir David Richards

Lady Caroline Richards, the General’s wife, had also taken a keen interest in matter for a long time. She added “Wives and partners of people who had been affected by the use of Lariam approached me and described what had happened. There were some terrible, sad stories of trauma, of relationships ending, psychological problems. We heard about other forces which have stopped using Lariam, so this is obviously something which needed looking into.” read more

Related Stories

Tom Batchelor, MoD accused of ‘negligence on a grand scale’ as troops sue over controversial malaria drug, Daily Express, 12 May 2016.

Jonathan Owen, Lariam: Medical experts condemn MoD for giving soldiers anti-malarial drug with psychiatric side effects, The Independent, 9 December 2015.

Sarah Waddington, Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer steps up his fight to ban anti-malaria drug, Plymouth Herald, 8 December 2015.

Frances Hardy, Has this highly decorated hero been driven mentally ill by an anti-malaria drug tourists are still given?, Daily Mail, 23 November 2015.

Larisa Brown, Malaria pill for forces is a risk, admit drug chiefs: Controversial treatment found to increase risk of depression, anxiety and psychosis, Daily Mail, 11 November 2015.



An international network of military veterans, families and friends affected by the health impacts of the neurotoxic antimalarial drug, mefloquine.
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