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Apology on the way for thalidomide victims

21 December 2009

The 462 surviving victims of the morning sickness drug thalidomide are to get an official apology from the government, according to reports in today’s national newspapers.

The Department of Health is yet to reveal the full details, but is reported as having agreed to pay the victims, now in their late 40s, £20m in compensation.

Thalidomide was withdrawn in 1961 and its British importers Distillers ordered to pay more than £20m in compensation in the 1970s.

However, because the drug was available through the NHS, the victims have campaigned for an apology and compensation from the government.

The remaining ‘thalidomiders’ receive an average of £18,000 a year from the original trust, but many are experiencing increasing health problems as they get older (see solicitorsjournal.com 9 October 2009).

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