File on Four (the epilepsy scandal)

BBC File on Four have published a powerful documentary which features women and men in the UK who were prescribed Sodium Valproate (Epilim). Sodium Valproate is being described by experts as a bigger scandal than Thalidomide.

Recently it has been highlighted on BBC Breakfast, where a family gives a brief description of what life is like having children impacted by Sodium Valproate on the early morning show.

File on Four producer Jane Fellner has been investigating this story for months, and she has managed to obtain extremely important documents. File on Four  travelled to France and discovered Periodic Safety Reports dating back to 1994 showing over five hundred cases of harm done which were not reflected in the Patient Safety Leaflet (PILs) at the time.

File on four speaks to families to hear what their concerns are. The documentary discusses how this has impacted their lives and the lives of their children and how emerging evidence is also coming out of grandchildren potentially being harmed.

Each person involved in the documentary gives a brief description of their concerns and on several topics relating to the past, the present, and the future and even more so “who knew what and when.”

OACS Ireland and our colleagues OACS Charity UK would like to give sincere thanks to Rachel Stonehouse, producers: Jane Fellner and Emma Forde and Editor: Carl Johnston for highlighting the devastation and evolving impact of Sodium Valproate and to all those who participated in it. We hope that there is a follow up investigation into this scandal. We would like to encourage our members, supporters, and volunteers to take time to listen to the documentary. Link:


To learn more about our ongoing campaign on this matter, visit the NEW’S section of our website. Finally, if you believe you may have been impacted by Sodium Valproate, please reach out to OACS Ireland. 

**Do NOT stop taking valproate without first discussing it with their doctor. **