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Home Industry News Thalidomide victims to receive apology

Thalidomide victims to receive apology

15th January 2010

The government will apologise to the victims of the thalidomide scandal, the Department of Health has confirmed.

Health minister Mike O’Brien will make the formal apology in the House of Commons later today.

The government previously announced the agreement to provide £20 million in support to victims of the scandal.

Pregnant women were prescribed the drug in the 1950s and 1960s as a treatment for morning sickness or insomnia.

It was later withdrawn in 1961 after children were born with deformities and other birth defects.

The drug’s manufacturer Distillers Biochemicals paid out almost 30 million pounds in compensation to the families of those affected following a legal battle in the 1970s.

Around 466 survivors of the scandal are currently alive in the UK.

The decision to provide 20 million pounds of government support for those affected was originally announced last month. The money is expected to be distributed over three years.

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