Britain says sorry over drug

2010-01-14 22:10
London - The British government issued a long-awaited apology on Thursday to victims of a half-century-old thalidomide drug scandal, and confirmed a £20m ($32m) package to help them.

A total of 466 survivors of the drug - which caused children to be born with physical deformities after their mothers took thalidomide for morning sickness during pregnancy - are eligible for support.

"I know many thalidomiders have waited a long time for this," health minister Mike O'Brien told the House of Commons, using the term for victims of the drug at the end of the 1950s.

"The government wishes to express its sincere regret and deep sympathy for the injury and suffering endured by all those affected when expectant mothers took the drug thalidomide between 1958 and 1961," he said.

"We acknowledge both the physical hardship and the emotional difficulties that have faced both the children affected and their families as a result of this drug and the challenges that many continue to endure, often on a daily basis."

Wonderful

Thalidomide was banned in Britain in 1961 after its effects - including stunted limbs, brain damage and other problems - were highlighted, notably by media campaigners.

Thalidomide campaigner Guy Tweedy described the government apology as "absolutely wonderful".

"I'm highly delighted and so glad that it actually came, 50 years too late, but never mind. It's an apology not just to thalidomide victims but to the parents and parents who lost their children in the early days," he said.

"Some will not be around to hear the apology from the government," he added.

The funding package was announced in December, but Tweedy said the formal apology "means as much in some ways as the money".

"It's a big day," he added.
Read more on:    health
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You tend to feel more comfortable on an intellectual level. The deep emotional under current today can make you feel a little...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.