From Esprit de Corps
A curious new side-effect of mefloquine has now been documented. While the drug is known to cause insomnia, nightmares, hallucinations and suicide, there is now evidence to suggest mefloquine may cause an almost uncontrollable urge to lie, to cover-up the truth, and to show almost total disregard for the law and for the health and well-being of soldiers.
Ministers and senior brass at Defence Headquarters and Health Canada seem to suffer most from this malady.
Evidence suggests that it is not necessary to take the drug to be affected by the urge to lie and cover-up. All that seems to be necessary is for the individual to be in a position of authority and to have made decisions with regard to mefloquine which ignored the law and accepted medical protocols.
Four events in Parliament in 1999 illustrate this strange side-effect.
First, on 16 February, the government tabled in Parliament answers to a series of questions I asked on mefloquine. One of the responses stated that “Health Canada did not undertake any formal investigations in October 1997.” This is curious because the Minister of Health, Allan Rock, on 20 October 1997 told Parliament that “investigations” were underway.
SAFETY PROTOCOL IGNORED
Second, on 20 April the Auditor General told Parliament that, contrary to their assertions, DND “did not follow the prescribed safety monitoring study protocol for mefloquine.” The military brass “ordered soldiers to take the drug without their consent and did not systematically monitor for adverse reactions or provide records to the manufacturer.”