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Sat Sep 1, 2012, 09:01 PM

German Drug Maker Apologizes to Victims of Thalidomide

Source: NY Times

Decades of campaigning by victims of thalidomide, a morning sickness drug, have taken a new turn, with the first apology in 50 years to the victims and their families by the drug’s German manufacturer — and an incensed rejection of the apology as too little and too late from many of those it was intended to placate.

The apology was issued Friday by Harald Stock, chief executive of the Grünenthal Group, a family-owned pharmaceutical company that marketed the drug in the 1950s and early 1960s. It was withdrawn in 1961 after it was linked to birth defects, including shortened arms and legs, and in some cases no limbs at all, that campaigners say affected 10,000 babies around the world, mostly in Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan.

The apology came in a speech Mr. Stock delivered in the Rhineland town of Stolberg, the company’s base, at the unveiling of a thalidomide memorial, a bronze statue of a limbless child.

Addressing the victims and their families, he said the company wished to “apologize for the fact that we have not found the way to you from person to person for almost 50 years.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/world/europe/grunenthal-group-apologizes-to-thalidomide-victims.html

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply German Drug Maker Apologizes to Victims of Thalidomide (Original post)
alp227 Sep 2012 OP
darkangel218 Sep 2012 #1
mountain grammy Sep 2012 #2
FailureToCommunicate Sep 2012 #3
Ken Burch Sep 2012 #4
FailureToCommunicate Sep 2012 #6
Ken Burch Sep 2012 #7
FailureToCommunicate Sep 2012 #8
Ken Burch Sep 2012 #9
grilled onions Sep 2012 #5

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 09:28 PM

1. Good but...

 

..a little too late, don't you think?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 10:32 PM

2. A time when the FDA worked for the people instead of the drug companies

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 10:35 PM

3. “We didn’t ask to be born this way.”

Grünenthal, shaken from a half century of denial by a class-action lawsuit in Australia, had made “some kind of statement that they are emotionally connected to our suffering. They’ve had 50 years to make billions of dollars while we struggled and our parents committed suicide. And now, they’re apologizing for not saying anything. How dare they do that and think it’s going to be enough?”
--Berrisford Boothe, 51, an associate professor of art at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA

As someone who saw many of these families, and heard their struggles to have their children try to adapt to a shocked community, I can only add my anger about the years gone, and the compensation never given to the thousands of victims. Grünenthal is just another greedy corporation that turned its back on the tragedy it had created.

Once again props to Dr Frances Kelsey of the Food and Drug Admin. for keeping thalidomide out of the US at that time

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 10:54 PM

4. After only FIFTY YEARS?

 

Did they figure they were cool so long as they apologized faster than the Church paroled Galileo?

Here's some pictures of what this company is finally apologizing for(disturbing images warning) :

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 02:15 PM

6. Thanks for the pictures...

Not sure about the disturbing images warning, though: that second one could have been my father (who was born without arms)
He was a wonderful, hard working, funny guy who would carry us kids around on his back by holding our hands under his chin.
Happy, happy memories...

(Just to add: of course thalidomide was a huge tragedy, but the people affected are just the same as you or me)

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Response to FailureToCommunicate (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 07:06 PM

7. Yes the people are the same, and we should all salute the Thalidomide survivors who transcended

 

The horrible circumstances of their gestation.

I added the warning not to disrespect them, but because it's a common practice here when you post anything that may be potentially traumatizing to some people).

This is kind of personal for me...I was born in 1960. As it happens, I wasn't a Thalidomide child, but I easily could have been. That could have been me, and many of the people I grew up with, in those pictures.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 08:40 PM

8. As you may have seen above, it's sorta

personal to me as well. And, yes, I figured you put the warning there for the reason you stated.

(I see you edited out picture #2 of the little boy without arms. I want to reassure you that it didn't bother me in the slightest, in fact I was heartened by the reminder of a pleasant memory of my father.


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Response to FailureToCommunicate (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 09:21 PM

9. I didn't intentionally edit that out. I'll try to find it again.

 

n/t.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 12:31 PM

5. About The Memorial Statue

It seems a bit tacky as well as the fact these victims of this horrible drug need help not a statue to remind them of their Hell they live every day of their lives. Take the money it cost for that memorial and put it into something more useful for those dealing with this 24/7.

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