The justified anger of Thalidomide victims today was challenged by interviewers with comments such as, 'It wouldn't happen now, would it?'
Yes it could. The reason why the UK had so many many victims is that our drugs regulatory body allowed Distavel to be used to treat morning sickness. The equivalent US body the FDA refused. The difference is that our body the MHRA was funded entirely by Big Pharma. It still is.
Have these interviewers not noticed the new drugs scourges. GSK were fined $3 billion for deception on the results on their trials. Pfeizer were guilty of similar conduct. Have they not heared of Vioxx? Millions of lives were shortened for a drug useful for reducing mild symptoms.
The excuse that trials could not have revealed Thalidomide's effects is untrue. After its four years of use, it was re-trialled on a particular strain of pregnant rabbit that reproduced the birth defects. Doctors were encouraged to persuade pregnant women to take the drug.
All drugs have side effects. Many have side effects that not yet been proved. The best advice is, 'Unless essential, stop taking the tablets'.