Dr Bromley quickly became a leader in her field and her work formed part of a growing body of research showing that foetal exposure to the antiepileptic drug sodium valproate can pose a substantial risk to development. Research has now shown that if sodium valproate is taken during pregnancy, up to 4 in 10 babies are at risk of developmental disorders and roughly 1 in 10 are at risk of birth defects. Over the past five years Dr Bromley has given evidence about these risks to various government and regulatory bodies including the European Medicines Agency (EMA) reviews in 2014 and 2017.
Following recommendations from the EMA after the evidence presented by Dr Bromley and other experts in the field, the MHRA issued new guidance on sodium valproate prescriptions in 2018. The guidance states that sodium valproate can no longer be prescribed to women of childbearing age unless they are on a pregnancy prevention plan (PPP). This new regulation will be key to preventing unnecessary risk to babies of women with epilepsy and other conditions for which this drug is prescribed, like bipolar disorder and migraines.