Thalidomide Information

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  • Created on: 28-05-14 14:38
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In Germany in the 1950's the drug Thalidomide was developed
to be used to help people sleep. Except, it was later found out
that it could be used to treat sickness in pregnancy as this
seemed safe for the mothers this became the secondary
function for the drug.
Although it was later discovered that Thalidomide was
not safe for the developing foetuses as many women who took
the drug during early pregnancy resulted in giving birth to
babies with severe limb deformities. In total around 2,000
babies were born with severe limb deformities in the UK about
half of those died within the first few months of life.
In 1961 the drug was withdrawn from use in the UK.
Since it was found out that Thalidomide was never tested on
pregnant animals a law in 1968 states that all medicines must
be tested on pregnant animals to see if they have an effect at
all on developing foetuses.
A few years later Thalidomide was given to a patient who
had leprosy as a painkiller and tranquiliser, as this was its
primary function, but it was found that it also reduced his
symptoms. Further tests were taken and it was found that
Thalidomide didn't only have a positive effect on leprosy but it
was used to control some AIDS conditions. There are also test
being done on its effects on various cancers.
Diego (the current name of the company who is
responsible for Thalidomide) increase the compensation in
2005 from £2.8m to £6.5m per year. In September 2012 the
German company responsible for the drug, Diego, issued an
apology to all those affected by Thalidomide and said the
drugs possible side ­effects `could not be detected' before it
was distributed. Although many do not feel that this apology is
sincere enough as it affected so many peoples whole lives.


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