Teratogenic Medicines Advisory Group


The Teratogenic Medicines Advisory Group (TMAG), formerly known as the Sodium Valproate Advisory Group (SVAG), was rebranded in March 2022, to reflect the evolving role and widened scope of the group to consider other medicines with potential to cause teratogenic harm.

The SVAG was set up in 2019 by the then Chief Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood. The SVAG remit was to examine steps that could be taken in a Scottish context (in addition to the regulatory actions being taken by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA)) to reduce harm from sodium valproate.

The group has advised on what further measures can be taken to prevent wider harm as a result of sodium valproate in Scotland within the current UK regulatory framework. The group have also considered the recommendations from the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review (IMMDSR) report, First Do No Harm.  

Moving forward, the learning and experience from focusing on sodium valproate will be used in the TMAG to explore actions to reduce and, where possible, eliminate harm associated with other medicines with teratogenic potential, starting with other anti-epileptic medicines. 

The TMAG group is chaired by the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, and includes representation from neurologists, psychiatrists, general practitioners, Public Health Scotland and Healthcare Improvement Scotland, with secretariat support provided by the Scottish Government Medicines Policy Unit.


  • Alison Strath, (Chair) Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Scottish Government
  • John Paul Leach, Consultant Neurologist, University of Glasgow
  • Laura McIver, Chief Pharmacist, Healthcare Improvement Scotland    
  • Roch Cantwell, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, Perinatal Mental Health Network Scotland 
  • Daniel Smith, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Glasgow
  • Alastair Cook, Principal Medical Officer, Scottish Government
  • Marion Bennie, Chief Pharmacist, Public Health Scotland
  • Corinne Love, Senior Medical Officer – Maternity and Women’s Health, Scottish Government
  • Andrew Walker, Lead Clinical Pharmacist Adult Mental Health, NHS GGC
  • Scott Hill, National Clinical Lead, ADTCC, NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Richard Davenport, Consultant Neurologist, NHS Lothian
  • Iain Wilson, Clinical Lead (GP), Effective Prescribing and Therapeutics, Scottish Government
  • Alpana Mair, Head of Effective Prescribing and Therapeutics, Scottish Government
  • Dan Morales, Academic GP and pharmacoepidemiologist, University of Dundee
  • Craig Heath, Consultant Neurologist and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Laura Byrne, Director of Pharmacy, NHS Forth Valley
  • Juliet Brock, Medical Officer, Mental Welfare Commission 
  • Irene Oldfather, Director Strategic Partnerships and Engagement, the Alliance 
  • Justine Craig, Chief Midwifery Officer, Scottish Government
  • Irene Oldfather, Director Strategic Partnerships and Engagement, the Alliance 
  • Justine Craig, Chief Midwifery Officer, Scottish Government




Scottish Government Medicines Policy


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