What went wrong with the thalidomide drug?

Health & FitnessMedicine

  • Author Craig Payne
  • Published January 7, 2023
  • Word count 549

There isn't any doubt that prescribed medications create a significant difference in a lot of peoples everyday life. These kinds of drug treatments go through a fairly significant testing and safe practices protocols before they are offered for prescription. A small number of medications make it through the assessment with many faltering after which they are discontinued by the pharmaceutical business. The high standard needed before medicines can be endorsed for the market occurred as a result of more stringent standards on account of prior problems, some of them being rather spectacular. Essentially the most recognized of such problems has become the thalidomide debacle.

Thalidomide was initially distributed in 1957 in West Germany to manage anxiousness, sleeping problems as well as morning sickness in pregnancy. The thalidomide turned into quite effective with the morning illness in pregnancy and it was quickly authorized in 46 nations around the world for use by females who were currently pregnant. It wasn't licensed for use and distribution in the USA, where it had been denied by the Federal Drug Administration for not achieving high enough criteria. Thalidomide never was subjected to testing to ascertain if it was safe while being pregnant. The end result of its use in pregnancy ended up being an estimated over 10 000 children being born having a range of serious deformities and many more miscarriages. With the live births just over half passed away within weeks of being given birth to. This might be the most significant controversy in the history of the drug field.

The down sides with thalidomide had been initially recognized in 1961 by the Australian doctor, William McBride, who then submitted a letter in the Lancet medical journal regarding his findings of finding an increase in the number of disfigured infants which were born at his hospital, all of which mothers were having the drug. At about the same time, the paediatric doctor Widukind Lenz in Germany likewise noted many similar cases where the medication was still being sold over-the-counter rather than just on prescription. This triggered an exploration and subsequent prohibiting of the thalidomide from sale. In 1968, the West German firm which made the drug, Chemie Grünenthal GmbH was put on trial in West Germany with the company settling the case out of court and no court case going forward. On account of that the German victims have been compensated. Nobody from the company was found guilty of any kind of criminal activity. In the United Kingdom, the victims of the drug ended up also recompensed by the United Kingdom distributors of thalidomide. In other countries there were several class actions pursued, resulting in pay outs many years after the medication ceased to be sold.

The actual press encompassing this and the birth problems which happened from thalidomide cast a dark shadow all over pharmaceutical drug sector. The resulting condemnation ended in every single country to formulate much better programs for medication regulations and also overseeing following the authorization of medicine. This was particularly the situation in the terms of the usage of medicines while being pregnant where the standards and prerequisites have become very high.

Thalidomide as a medicine still can have some uses for treatments for some cancers and a few inflammatory conditions. It is being employed as a medicine for leprosy along with myeloma.

For the latest research on thalidomide, see:


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