Thalidomide: "The 50-Year Global Cover-Up"

"Secret files reveal the German maker of thalidomide ignored and covered up repeated warnings that its drug could damage unborn babies."

"The Age has obtained excerpts of never-before-published files from the archives of pharmaceutical giant Grunenthal which detail explicit warnings the company received about its drug's potential to harm foetuses well before it was withdrawn from sale in late 1961.

An estimated 10,000 babies worldwide - including hundreds in Australia - were born in the late 1950s and 1960s with severe physical deformities because their mothers had taken thalidomide drugs, which were marketed as a safe sedative and remedy for morning sickness.

The Grunenthal files expose a 50-year global cover-up and demolish the company's long-held position that the scandal was unforeseeable tragedy and that its 'actions were consistent with the state of scientific knowledge and prevailing standards of the 1950s'."

Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker report for the Melbourne Age July 26, 2012.

Source: Melbourne Age, 07/26/2012