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 This website is dedicated to the history of the drug 'thalidomide' and we explore the various disabilities that the drug caused to babies worldwide.

 Since Thalidomide UK was founded in 1993, against all odds, Diageo have put additional monies into the trust on three separate occasions. Payments are being made to provide some facilities (adaptation of properties/wheelchairs/cars, etc) to alleviate the problems.

 The thalidomide disabilities was a man-made by a drug, which could have been so easily avoided if the manufactures and suppliers had carried out the adequate testing on the drug. Those who were responsible for the marketing of the drug did not have a care for human life.


Freddie Astbury - PRESIDENT
(Medicines 'Teratogenic' Regulatory Consultant)


Freddie Astbury

President/Founder/Head Consultant of Thalidomide UK

Thalidomide Agency UK website provides information the use of thalidomide and similar drugs. 

 In 1985 when the world discovered that the drug thalidomide was being used in the treatment of leprosy and that babies were still being born in countries like Brazil, our immediate response was to call for the drug to be banned.

 Over the years, most thalidomiders have come to accept that if it can help people who suffer from number of illnesses then it must be used but only under the strictest guidelines such as a risk Management Programme.

 In our ideal world, thalidomide would be banned, but we have to accept that we live in the real world. We believe that the best way forward is to work on Risk Management Programme like the European Pregnancy Prevention

Programme and the STEPS Programme in the USA, with the manufactures and suppliers that would reduce the chances of more babies being damaged by the drug.


What Is Thalidomide?

 The drug ‘Thalidomide’ was mainly prescribed to pregnant women for morning sickness in the late 50s and early 60s. Instead, the drug caused severe deformities in babies with missing limbs.

Some thalidomide people where also born with internal deformities. It is estimated that over 3,500 babies died before their first birthday. Thalidomide was invented in 1954 at the Grünenthal Labs in Germany by the inventors Dr. W. Kunz (chemical synthesis) and Dr. H. Keller pharmacological description of sedative properties).





 Thalidomide UK Website Symbol 2009




Accutane or Roaccutane

(generic name isotretinoin)

Hundreds of drugs still pose the risk of birth abnormalities. It is a retinoid, meaning it derives from vitamin A and is found in small quantities naturally in the body.

 Accutane, or Roaccutane (generic name isotretinoin) Amnesteem are members of a family of drugs called retinoids which are known to cause a number of very serious birth defects, and has been implicated as a possible cause of cleft lip and cleft palate. Isotretinoin is derived from vitamin A.

 Oral isotretinoin is marketed under various trade names, most commonly Accutane (Roche), Amnesteem (Mylan), Claravis (Barr), Decutan (Actavis), Isotane (Pacific Pharmaceuticals), Sotret (Ranbaxy), Oratane (Genepharm Australasia) or Roaccutane (Roche), Izotek (BlauFarma); while topical isotretinoin is most commonly marketed under the trade names Isotrex or Isotrexin (Stiefel).

 What is even more terrifying is that the drugs are aimed at teenagers for the treatment of ACNE.

 Accutane and Roaccutane This drug is NOT manufactured by Celgene the suppliers of Thalidomide or Revlimid, but the pharmaceutical giants Roche.

 Celgene, however is the owner of the business process patents on components which will be essential elements of the new isotretinoin RiskMAP. Celgene is not involved in the strengthened isotretinoin RiskMAP aside from the patent negotiations.

In US the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 'FDA or USFDA' (an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for regulating and supervising the safety of foods, dietary supplements, drugs, vaccines, biological medical products, blood products, medical devices, radiation-emitting devices, veterinary products, and cosmetics) has insisted that the drug has a stronger Risk Management Programme than used in the past.

 The new Risk Management Programme is called iPLEDGE.

The iPLEDGE program is a mandatory distribution program in the United States for isotretinoin (commonly sold under the trade names Accutane, Amnesteem, Claravis or Sotret), intended to prevent the use of the drug during pregnancy due to the high risk of birth defects.



If you consider that you have been damaged as a result of your parent taking the drug thalidomide during pregnancy, which was supplied by a doctor in the UK. Important: please remember you must have been born between 1958 and 1962 to the Trust.

By post:          The Thalidomide Trust

                        1 Eaton Court Road

                        Colmworth Business Park

                        Eaton Socon

                        St. Neots

                        Cambs PE 19 8ER 

By email:        

By telephone: 01480 474074

morning sickness drug thalidomide: 23 Spanish SURVIVORS where awarded compensation

Spanish victims of the morning sickness drug Thalidomide said they have been awarded compensation after fighting against a pharmaceutical company for decades.

The court has recognized 23 victims, who will receive a minimum of $807,900 from the company, Grünenthal, The chairman of the Thalidomide victims' association, AVITE, said the verdict is historic. "We have regained some of the dignity which we should never have had to have lost, but which we lost before we were born," Chairman Jose Riquelme said. Thalidomide, first prescribed in 1957 as a morning sickness drug, caused a range of deformities in the infants, including missing fingers, elbows and knees.

Thousands of babies were affected, and many victims had to undergo amputations as a result of the deformities. Although only 23 victims were awarded compensation, those who feel they have a valid claim should attend court for a medical examination to certify their condition.

Thursday 21st November, 2013



Thalidomide UK launched a new TV channel VIA YouTube Thalidomide UK TV

The new channel shows news clips, documentaries and others on the history of thalidomide. It is also available via our website. Please click on link below 

Thalidomide UK radio

launches END 2014

View thalidomide radio website (new)

(Please click on the PHOTO above to view the

Thalidomide Radio Website NEW)


  Thalidomide Radio Commercial 2014

(Please click on the button above to listen to our commercial)

thalidomide radio information

Thalidomide Radio will be available in all countries via the website Thalidomide. You will be able to listen to our new station in various ways i.e.:

Thalidomide Radio website (website launch end 2014) or Thalidomide Radio Facebook (a public social network site).

Thalidomide Radio will make sure that news, conversation and interviews on thalidomide and other similar type medicines is our priority. We however will be introducing Music and Comedy programs into our Line-up.

Our aim is to educate the younger generation into the History of Thalidomide and therefore feel that it is in the interest of our people to make sure that they listen to the our new Radio Station.

If you have any ideas for the New Radio Station then please e-mail: or even if you want to be in interviewee please let us know by the same method.

Thalidomide victims seeking payout

Press Association – 5th June 2014

Thalidomide victims have mounted a new bid for compensation from the drug's manufacturer and distributor more than 50 years after they were born deformed.

Papers have been filed at the High Court on behalf of eight people whose mothers took the anti-morning sickness drug when pregnant in the late 1950s and early 1960s, law firm Slater & Gordon said.

They are seeking compensation from the drug's German maker Grunenthal and Diageo, which now owns the drug's UK distributor, Distillers Co (Biochemicals).

Lorry driver Brian Davies, 53, from Gwynedd, Wales, who was left with deformed feet, is one of those seeking compensation, having been refused under a 1970s plan because his arms were not affected.

The father-of-two said: "It's a disgrace that so many people have been denied justice in this way.

"In my eyes it was simply the drug companies looking to save money and ignoring the duty of care they have to people whose lives they have ruined.

"Ever since I was a child I have missed out on everyday pleasures, like playing football with friends or swimming, things other people take for granted.

"Everyday I am in pain and every day is a struggle. I hope that now we finally get the justice that we have been demanding for so many years."

Between 1958 and 1961 the drug Thalidomide was used by expectant mothers to control symptoms of morning sickness.

It was originally prescribed as a "wonder drug'' for morning sickness, headaches, coughs, insomnia and colds.

Thalidomide babies often suffered missing or deformed limbs and extreme shortening of arms and legs, but the drug also caused malformations of the eyes and ears, genitals, heart, kidneys and digestive tract.

By the time safety fears led to it being pulled from sale thousands of babies worldwide had been affected.

According to survivors' charity Thalidomide UK there are still 455 victims in the UK but it is estimated around 40% of victims died before their first birthday.

In 2012 Grunenthal apologised for the drug for the first time, with chief executive Harald Stock saying "we have been silent and we are very sorry for that".

Last year Diageo paid 89 million Australian dollars (£49 million) to just over 100 further Australians damaged by the drug, in a deal which led to a claim against Grunenthal being discontinued.

Slater & Gordon lawyer Fraser Whitehead said: "Grunenthal and Distillers have always claimed that the thalidomide disaster was an unavoidable tragedy and that they did everything expected of drug companies at the time. Our research has demonstrated that is nonsense.

"Both companies knew their drug was causing severe nerve damage and both were explicitly warned of the possibility thalidomide might cause severe malformations. Yet the drug was left on the market for many months afterwards.

"It is time those responsible are finally held to account for the mistakes of the past. Grunenthal, in particular, has done little make good the immense damage that it has done and it has to accept responsibility for those affected in the UK."

A Grunenthal spokesman said: "Grunenthal confirms that the company received an email from Slater & Gordon today, announcing that they have been instructed to bring proceedings on behalf of eight claimants.

"Grunenthal has not seen the claims to which they refer and is, therefore, not in a position to comment further."

Early access drugs scheme launched for severely ill

Severely ill patients and those with rare debilitating conditions could be given new medicines years before they are licensed, under new regulations.

The Early Access to Medicines scheme would enable a small number of promising medicines to be fast-tracked.

The idea is to help patients in England with severe illnesses who have no other treatment options.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will oversee the scheme, being launched in April.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "What patients want is sometimes to try medicines that may not be clinically proven to be effective but are clinically safe.

"We are streamlining the process so these medicines can be used much earlier - particularly if they have early promise - and that is something which will bring hope to a lot of patients."

Source BBC

Freddie Astbury President of Thalidomide UK said: this is very good news for terminally ill patients, who have tried all medicines and it were desperate to get treatment that could prolonged life or in even in a small number of cases would cure their diseases.

People must remember that unfortunately in many cases this can often be life threatening disease and that they have no alternative but to try new medicines. We are sure, after working with the MHRA that they have taken all  necessary precautions in making sure that these medicines are safe.



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