Articles on Thalidomide

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An animal experiment in a laboratory of the pharmaceutical company “Chemie Gruenenthal,” which manufactured the drug Thalidomide, in West Germany in 1969. Thalidomide was prescribed by doctors as a mild sleeping pill and for relief of morning sickness but caused the miscarriage and birth of thousands of children with severe malformations globally. (AP Photo/File)

We need answers to the thalidomide tragedy – to ensure drug safety today

A new book, 'The Thalidomide Catastrophe,' raises new questions about the conduct of corporations involved. It is the duty of governments to find out the answers.
About 3% of babies are born with birth defects, when there is a problem with how they develop in the womb. from www.shutterstock.com

Why we don’t know what causes most birth defects

We still don't know what's behind four out of every five birth defects. But that can change.
A snapshot of 2015: health reviews, Health Check series, thalidomide series, Medicare versus private health insurance. AAP; Shutterstock; Julian Smith/; Dave Hunt/AAP

2015, the year that was: Health + Medicine

This was the year of the health review – mental health care, Medicare, private health insurance, the pharmacy industry ... and the list goes on. But how much movement was there on policy?
Lynette Rowe’s lawyers successfully negotiated a multimillion dollar settlement, but not every compensation case is that successful. Julian Smith/AAP Image

Why thalidomide survivors have such a tough time getting compensation

Decades have passed and yet the issue of financial compensation for the remaining "survivors" of the thalidomide tragedy has, in many instances, remained unresolved.
Thalidomide was used by the pregnant women – the population that turned out to be most vulnerable to its risks. Reuters pictures

Why did thalidomide’s makers ignore warnings about their drug?

Thalidomide's manufacturer, Chemie Grünenthal, marketed the drug as safe for pregnant women despite reports it was causing malformations in newborns. Why such blatant denial?
Melbourne thalidomider Lyn Rowe (right) won her legal case for compensation in 2012, at age 50. Supplied by the Rowe Family/AAP

Could thalidomide happen again?

Thalidomide caused thousands of spontaneous abortions and left more than 10,000 children severely disabled. What guarantee is there that the same thing can’t occur again today?

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