Thalidomide: sleepwalking into a pharma disaster
Inexcusable delays and government inertia helped keep thalidomide on the Irish market for a fatally long time, writes Susan Mitchell.
Sometimes referred to as the "last war crime of the Nazis", the thalidomide disaster was one of the darkest episodes in pharmaceutical history, and remains a terrible stain on the record of successive Irish governments. At the centre of this global drug scandal is a company called Chemie Grünenthal, which has revenues of more than €1 billion and is headquartered in the German town of Stolberg.
In 1958, the drug manufacturer issued the...
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