The government granted distillers a UK product License for the drug thalidomide. The government have never paid any compensation for licensing the drug, however they have donated some monies first in 1974 £5million, which was to offset the tax then £7million in June 1996 - no clear reason was ever given for this donation.
£20m and an apology for Britain's 'thalidomiders'
Thursday, 14, Jan 2010 12:00
Health minister Mike O'Brien has expressed the government's "sincere regret and deep sympathy" for victims of the drug thalidomide.
It comes four decades after expectant mothers suffering from morning sickness took the drug between 1958 and 1961. Thousands of their offspring suffered from physical disabilities as a result.
Of them, 466 members of the Thalidomide Trust remain. The government has announced a £20 million three-year pilot scheme which will meet survivors' needs "in a more personalised way".
Mr O'Brien told MPs: "The government wishes to express its sincere regret and deep sympathy for the injury and suffering endured by all those affected when expectant mothers took the drug thalidomide between 1958 and 1961.
"We acknowledge both the physical hardship and the emotional difficulties that have faced both the children affected and their families as a result of this drug, and the challenges that many continue to endure, often on a daily basis."
The new funding for 'thalidomiders' will prioritise looking after their health needs for the long-term.
After the drug's negative side-effects were first realised the government launched a major review of the machinery for marketing, testing and regulating drugs, which resulted in the Medicines Act 1968.
Thalidomide victims gain £3.4m to fight
Published Date: 26 February 2010
By Angus Howarth - The Guardian
VICTIMS of the thalidomide scandal will be given extra help through a £3.4 million fund announced by the Scottish Government yesterday. The money will be spent over three years to alter homes and buy specialist equipment. Pregnant women were prescribed the drug between 1958 and 1961 as a treatment for morning sickness or insomnia. It was withdrawn from sale after babies were born with limb deformities and other disabilities. There are 55 known thalidomide survivors in Scotland who can benefit from the money pledged by ministers. The health secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, said yesterday: "Half a century later, the survivors of thalidomide are still battling against the disabilities the prescribing of the drug caused."
Liz Buckle, 49, a thalidomide victim who lives on the island of Lismore, near Oban, said: "As a Scottish thalidomider, I very much welcome the positive response from our government. They have acted with integrity."I look forward to working together with the Scottish Government to the benefit of thalidomiders and others."
The UK health minister, Mike O'Brien, announced a £20m fund last month, when he apologised for the scandal surrounding the drug's history.
£1.9m for thalidomide survivors in Wales
First Minister Carwyn Jones will today announce
£1.9million for the Thalidomide Trust to improve
the care and support for thalidomide survivors
The funding which will be available from April will be distributed amongst survivors to help meet their health needs and minimise any further deterioration of their condition.
This funding will be in addition to £20million announced by the Department of Health last month for the Thalidomide Trust for a pilot scheme to support thalidomiders, as they refer to themselves.
Between 1958 and 1961, the drug, thalidomide, was used by expectant mothers to control symptoms of morning sickness. Tragically, this led to many babies being born with often severe physical disabilities. There are 31 thalidomiders in Wales.
The First Minister, who will meet thalidomide survivors in Gorseinon, Swansea today, said: "I believe that addressing the ongoing needs of thalidomiders rests with the UK Government as it authorised the use of thalidomide.
"While survivors in Wales will have access to a share of the funding announced by the Department of Health, I wanted to provide additional funding to ensure that people affected by thalidomide in Wales receive the care and support they need.
"I am pleased that the UK Government has expressed its sincere regret and deep sympathy for the injury and suffering endured by all those affected when expectant mothers took the drug between 1958 and 1961.
"The funding I am announcing today will help thalidomiders manage the continuing and increasing health needs as they get older.
"We will be working with the Thalidomide Trust on how this funding will be distributed to maximise the benefits for individuals."
The Numbers: The
Third Sector, 2 March 2010
The figures behind the charity which provides relief and assistance to people suffering from congenital disability because of Thalidomide.
£12.4m - The charity's income for the financial year ending 5 April 2009, broadly in line with its income in the previous year
£7.4m - The sum received from drinks firm Diageo in the financial year. It contributes annually to the trust, which was set up after a settlement with Distillers (Biochemicals), the firm that distributed Thalidomide in the UK, now owned by Diageo
466 - The number of beneficiaries the charity helps
£9.96m - Total grants made by the trust in the year, compared with £13.1m the year before
-18.1% - Total return on the charity's investments in the financial year. The value of assets fell from £120.1m to £97.1m
£282k - The cost of investment management during the year
£100k - No employee was paid more than this
10% - Maximum percentage of pensionable income contributed to employees' pension schemes.
Accutane or Roaccutane
(generic name isotretinoin)
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
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.
(Please click on symbol below to view video)
(Risk Management Programme)
October 28, 2005: The
implementation dates of the
iPLEDGE program have been
revised. The date by which
wholesalers and pharmacies must
be registered /activated in
IPLEDGE has been changed from
November 1, 2005 to December 30,
2005. By March 1, 2006, only
prescribers registered and
activated in iPLEDGE can
prescribe isotretinoin and only
patients registered and
qualified in iPLEDGE can be
dispensed isotretinoin. Patients
can begin registering and
qualifying on December 30, 2005.
FDA has developed stronger requirements to prevent foetal exposure to the drug Accutane (isotretinoin) along with its generic equivalents, such as Amnesteem, Sotret and Claravis. Isotretinoin is used to treat severe, recalcitrant, nodular acne, but it can cause serious birth defects if taken by pregnant women.