Fifty years ago Pharmaceutical firm, Grunenthal, made a morning sickness drug that caused thousands of babies to be born with disabilities and birth defects. Only recently,after being pulled in 1961, they have made an apology. The head of a survivors’ group is saying that it is “not enough.” Read more below.
Pharmaceutical firm Gruenenthal apologized Friday for the first time over its drug, thalidomide, which caused babies to be born with shorter arms and legs after their mothers took it during pregnancy in the 1950s and 1960s.
It was sold to women to counter morning sickness, according to the Thalidomide Trust, a UK body set up in the 1970s to help those affected.
While some children whose mothers took the drug were born with one or more affected limbs, others suffered heart problems, damaged hearing or eyesight, and in some cases, brain damage.
The drug was pulled from sale in late 1961 after doctors linked it to birth defects.
Freddie Astbury, the president of campaign group Thalidomide UK, who was born in 1959 without arms or legs, said it was too little, too late.
“It’s taken a long time for them to apologize. There are a lot of people damaged by thalidomide struggling with health problems in the UK and around the world,” he said in a statement on the group’s website.