Thalidomide victims aid
posted on Jan 3, 2010
The Government is set to make an announcement on how it will help thalidomide victims amid reports of a historic deal
There are more than 450 people in the UK who were born with problems as a result of their mothers being prescribed the drug while pregnant.
According to the Sunday Times, the Government will make a public apology for the victims' suffering over the past 50 years and provide annual payments of up to £8 million.
A campaign backed by the paper to secure financial support for surviving "thalidomiders", many of whom are unable to work and require adapted homes and cars.
They were born in the 1950s and 1960s with deformed and stunted limbs after their mothers took the medicine, which was used to treat morning sickness or insomnia.
Thalidomide was withdrawn in 1961 and following a long campaign, and its UK manufacturer Distillers Biochemicals paid around £28 million compensation.
The money was paid in the 1970s to the Thalidomide Trust, which was set up to assist those living with disabilities caused by the drug.
It currently dispenses aid to 466 people.
Under the new settlement, the paper reported, the Department of Health will pay a grant of £20 million to the Trust.