In 1957 the company German pharmaceutical Grünenthal began to market a new drug whose active ingredient was known as thalidomide. This drug was touted as a medicine to relieve nausea in pregnant women and as a replacement for traditional barbiturates, but thousands of children born after the gestation period have suffered serious health problems and physical malformations.
This drug has been sold in over 50 countries and thousands of children were born with no limbs
Thalidomide is a substance formed by a molecule that transforms into several compounds when it is metabolized in the liver. These new compounds are mainly responsible for physical malformations. Thalidomide
Its main side effects
This medicine is designed for two purposes: to fight some diseases that affect the tissues and skin (eg leprosy) and to reduce vomiting and nausea in pregnant women. Minor side effects include feelings of fatigue and weakness, constipation, mood swings, skin rashes or ankle inflammation. However, the effects on pregnant women in the early 1960s were devastating. Currently, this drug is still being used, but under strict supervision by the health authorities. Of course, it is no longer consumed among pregnant women. Thalidomide
AVITE is an association of Spanish victims affected by this drug
This Spanish association was founded in 2004 with a dual purpose : to improve the living conditions of those affected and, at the same time, try to get those responsible for the German pharmaceutical industry to appear before the courts of law .
People affected by this drug not only suffered severe physical limitations, they also had difficulties in finding work and recognizing their rights as victims. Due to the prescribed legal responsibilities, the victims claim financial compensation from the Spanish State . Thalidomide
In Spain, drugs with the active principle of thalidomide were banned in 1963, two years after being banned in other countries. Because of this, it is estimated that 3000 babies were born with severe sequelae. The thalidomide catastrophe was the first episode in which society faced the negligence of the pharmaceutical industry.