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Thalidomide survivors to receive £80m of public funding


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Thalidomide survivors to receive £80m of public funding


Money will help cover living costs of 325 people in England affected by thalidomide


Denis Campbell, health correspondent

The Guardian, Thursday 20 December 2012 20.07 GMT






Survivors of the thalidomide drug scandal are to receive £80m of public funding over the next decade to improve the quality of their lives and fulfil what a minister called society's "responsibility" to them. The money, announced on Thursday by the government, will help the 325 remaining people in England who were affected by thalidomide to adapt their homes or cars and buy hearing aids.


They were born to mothers who between 1958 and 1961 took thalidomide while pregnant for morning sickness, before its dangers were realised. It led to their babies being born with serious physical disabilities, such as shortened arms or legs, as well as damage to internal organs, eyesight and hearing. The money will go to the Thalidomide Trust, which represents survivors. It will replace an initial three-year pilot grant funding scheme agreed in 2009 by the then Labour government, which runs out in March.


"It struck me that there was a powerful case to provide long-time stability and funding. Society has a responsibility to this group of people," said Norman Lamb, the care and support minister. The £80m would give "the maximum power and control to the individual to meet their needs", he added.


Only the 325 survivors in England will benefit from the money, which will be disbursed by the Thalidomide Trust. The devolved administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast will decide on their own arrangements to help the other 106 survivors still living in the UK, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The trust's national advisory council welcomed the move. "The renewed grant means a great deal to the 431 thalidomiders still living in the UK today. ....Grunenthal, the company which made thalidomide, recently issued its first ever apology for the huge damage it had caused, though many survivors rejected its statement.


Geoff Adams-Spink, chairman of EDRIC, a pan-European group set up by thalidomide survivors, said the £80m "comes as a huge relief to myself and the several hundred other survivors in England who have to cope every day with the damage caused to us by thalidomide. It's a sad fact that many affected have not lived to see this day but those who have are in our sixth decade and are facing increasing costs to help us stay as healthy and independent as possible."

Edited by Altostrata
edited to conform to fair use



I came off Seroxat in August 2005 after a 4 month taper. I was initially prescibed a benzo for several months and then Prozac for 5 years and after that, Seroxat for 3 years and 9 months.


"It's like in the great stories Mr.Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer."  Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

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