/ 29 November 2023

A reckoning on a morning sickness drug


It isn’t every day we get a national apology, and this morning, PM Albanese will deliver one to all Aussies affected by the drug thalidomide. It was a morning sickness medication marketed to pregnant women in the 50s and 60s that caused significant birth defects. An estimated 10,000 babies around the world were affected, and 40% died before their first birthday. Thalidomide wasn’t tested on pregnant women before it was approved for sale, and the fallout from its side effects led to greater medical oversight around the world, as well as the creation of our Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). A national apology was one of the recommendations of a 2019 Senate Committee report, as was creating a recognition site for survivors, which will be unveiled tomorrow near Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. There are 146 thalidomide survivors registered in Oz. 

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