The federal government should recognize the anti-malaria drug mefloquine was not used safely in a trial during the fateful Somalia mission and address veteran concerns, a former top Health Canada bureaucrat says.
The defence and health departments failed to do their due diligence when the drug was released under a clinical trial to 900 Canadian Airborne soldiers going to Somalia in 1992, Dr. Michele Brill Edwards says.
“We owe a duty to them to recognize mefloquine may have caused great harm,” Brill Edwards told The Journal in a rare interview on the subject.
“It’s high time we stopped pretending mefloquine was used safely.”
While many people can take the drug without danger, side effects may include nightmares, paranoia, aggression and cognitive impairment.