EU talks in campaign for drug settlement
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A THALIDOMIDE victim from Yorkshire is to hold talks with the EU Health Commissioner as he steps up his fight for justice against the German pharmaceutical company which developed the anti-morning sickness drug.
Guy Tweedy and four colleagues – who are representing the UK’s 469 remaining Thalidomiders – have secured a meeting on Friday with Antonio Borges, in the hope of brokering a compensation talks with Grunenthal and the German government.
The meeting comes after a concerted lobbying campaign of UK MEPs by leading Thalidomide victims, who aim to secure a financial settlement from Grunenthal for UK, Swedish, Canadian and Australian victims of the “wonder drug”.
Mr Tweedy, 51, a businessman from Harrogate, said: “Over the last few months we have had a series of meetings with UK MEPs and, thanks to their support of our campaign, we now have a face to face meeting with Mr Borges.
“We hope we will be able to persuade him to use his influence to mediate a solution that will lead to us sitting down with representatives of both Grunenthal and the German government, and, ultimately, receiving compensation for the lasting damage their drug has done.”
Mr Tweedy, who was born with shortened arms and fingers fused together, added: “In 1971, the German government passed a law protecting Grunenthal from anyone taking legal action against it in relation to Thalidomide.
“However, the company needs to own up to its responsibilities and help those who have been living with the side effects of Thalidomide for more than 50 years.”
Thalidomide was administered to pregnant women to combat the effects of morning sickness, however, in May 1962 the drug was withdrawn after it was linked to crippling side effects in new-born babies.
At least 2,000 babies in the UK were born with deformities brought about directly by Thalidomide, and more than half of them died within their first year.