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 German thalidomide inventor issues first apology in 50 years

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Posts : 7988
Join date : 2012-05-29
Location : Manchester UK

PostSubject: German thalidomide inventor issues first apology in 50 years   Thu 13 Sep 2012, 11:20

German thalidomide inventor issues first apology in 50 years for
thousands of lives ruined, but offers no compensation to victims

(NaturalNews) Victims of a morning sickness drug that was on the market
for just a few years back in the late 1950s before being quickly
recalled for its deadly side-effects are outraged after the drug's maker
recently issued a formal apology for the tragedies caused by the drug,
but failed to offer the drug's victims any compensation. German drug
company Grunenthal stopped short of actually admitting guilt in its
apology for the tens of thousands of people who lost limbs or died as a
result of thalidomide, and the company also offered nothing in the way
of practical assistance to its many victims.

Introduced in 1957
as a treatment for morning sickness, the Nazi concentration camp-wrought
drug thalidomide is linked to causing serious birth defects, including
loss of limbs, and death. This slate of serious side effects is what got
the drug banned fewer than four years after it was first approved (
During the time that thalidomide was on the market, untold thousands of
children born to mothers who took the drug ended up suffering from
these and other horrific side-effects, while the company for decades
said and did nothing to support them.

After the German town of
Stolberg recently decided to erect a bronze statue in remembrance of the
many who died or were permanently injured as a result of thalidomide,
Grunenthal had no choice but to participate in the proceedings as it was
directly responsible for the drug's deadly consequences. But the
soft-peddled apology
its current CEO Harald Stock gave during the memorial's unveiling,
coupled with no real admission of guilt or a plan of action to help
thalidomide's living victims with their copious financial needs, angered
many who are now demanding that justice be served.

"We feel that
a sincere and genuine apology is one which actually admits wrongdoing,"
said Nick Dobrik, a member of the U.K. Thalidomide Trust's national
advisory council. "The company has not done that and has really insulted
the thalidomiders," he added, noting that any legitimate apology from
Grunenthal "should be an unreserved apology, not a conditional apology."

Grunenthal says it took half a century to respond to victims because the company was in 'shock'

are livid that it took Grunenthal more than 50 years to even make a
peep about the issue, while thousands of its victims struggled
throughout the course of several decades to survive while having to pay
exorbitant costs for their daily medical needs. Many of those who
survived thalidomide's destructive effects required live-in caretakers,
for instance, as they themselves typically were unable to perform
routine and necessary functions that require the use of hands and legs.

no good apologizing if they won't open discussions on compensation,"
said Freddie Astbury, president of Thalidomide U.K. to BBC News. "They've got to seriously consider financial compensation for these people." (

in the summer, an Australian woman who was injured by thalidomide was
awarded a multi-million dollar settlement from U.K.-based Diageo, a
distributor of thalidomide. That particular case revealed that
Grunenthal knew at least two years prior to thalidomide's withdrawal
from the market that the drug caused serious side effects, despite
Stock's claim that the company was unaware of thalidomide's harmful side
effects prior to its withdrawal from the market. (

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