Europe calls on Germany to compensate victims of Thalidomide

Strasbourg, Dec 15 (IANS) Europe on Thursday passed a non-binding resolution calling on Germany to compensate all European victims of the drug thalidomide, which caused deformities in thousands of children in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The members of the European Parliament formally requested Berlin to compensate not only German victims — which the German government is set to do in 2017 following an amendment to the so-called “Thalidomide law” — but also pay European victims, reports Efe.

The resolution approved in a plenary session also called on the Spanish government to review its 2010 legislation and to provide a new registry of those affected by the immunomodulatory drug so they can exercise their right to compensation.

However, the resolution is not a law and does not require Germany to take the action suggested.

German pharmaceutical Grünenthal first marketed the drug in 1957, in West Germany, under the trade name Contergan.

It was often prescribed as a sedative or hypnotic and primarily used against nausea and morning sickness in pregnant women.

The drug was later sold in over 50 countries across the world under more than 80 different trade names.

In 1961, it was discovered that thalidomide caused severe malformations to those subjected to the drug in the womb such that thousands of children were born without limbs or with underdeveloped arms and legs that were mere stumps.

–IANS

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