NI thalidomide victims await compensation news

The thalidomide drug prescribed for morning sickness proved to be the worst drug disaster in the world, with 10,000 babies born with disfigurements including missing or deformed arms and legs.

The Cohen Committee, a government agency, approved the thalidomide drug for use in the UK, but it was not passed in the UK were they had tighter controls. The drug was prescribed to pregnant women to combat morning sickness between 1958 and 1961. 

The UK government has never issued an apology in respect of its role in approving the drug - the disaster having occurred despite a warning by the World Health Organisation that drug regulation in the UK was inadequate. Regulation of the international pharmaceutical industry was fundamentally reformed as a result.

There has still been no apology from the government but the they have announced that £80million compensation will be paid out to 325 survivors in England over a 10 year period. Victims in Scotland will share £14million of compensation, while those in Northern Ireland and Wales are awaiting an announcement.

If you live in Northern Ireland and have suffered injury or loss as a result of a defective medical product, or negligent medical care, contact Wilson Nesbitt solicitors in Belfast for information on making a claim for compensation by calling 0800 840 9289.