Drugs in pregnancy    Drug list

See: Epilim

[2012 Aug] Thalidomide/Thimerosal By Anne Dachel

[2012 July] Landmark thalidomide payout offers hope for thousands

[Media 1997 Thalidomide] A curse on my baby

Dr. William Griffith McBride

[Chapter 6] Animal Research Takes Lives by Bette Overell

And here is what was written in “Thalidomide and the Power of the Drug Companies” by Sjostrom and Nilsson, p.62. (1972): “After a visit to a university neurological clinic in Cologne to defend Contergan (Thalidomide), Dr. Goeden of Chemie Grunenthal stated in a letter of February 23, 1961 that ‘I declared our standpoint on the problem of polyneuritis and Contergan and sought above all to cause confusion.’”

In April 1961 Australian Dr W.G. McBride at Crown Street Women's Hospital, Sydney, notified the representatives of Distillers in Australia about his suspicions of the link between Distavel (Thalidomide) and malformations.  Distillers in England claim they never received the written report.  Sales promotion of the drug was stepped up and a quarter of a million leaflets distributed saying Thalidomide is "Harmless even over a long period of use" and "completely harmless even for infants".
    May 4 1961 Dr McBride reported further malformations due to Thalidomide and succeeded in convincing his superiors that the drug must be withdrawn from use in the hospital.  In October and November Dr McBride reported further malformed babies.
November 27 1961
Thalidomide was withdrawn from the British market.
December 16 1961
Dr McBride's observations were published in the Lancet, and in the Australian Medical Journal on December 23.
On January 6 and February 3 1962
Prof. Widijung Lenz who had warned against Thalidomide in Germany published evidence of deformities in LancetChemie Grunenthal continued prescribing Thalidomide, stepping up its advertising and intensive marketing despite criticism of doctors.
March 4 1962
Thalidomide was removed from the shelves in Germany because of public opinion and against the wishes of Chemie Grunenthal.  News of the dangers of Thalidomide was played down by the media.  In many cases malformed births occurred after the drug was withdrawn as, in possession of the drug mothers took it never realising the risks involved.  At the time of withdrawl of Thalidomide in Germany thousands of malformed babies had been born, thousands of women required extensive psychiatric treatment and there were many suicides.  (In some countries Thalidomide continued to be prescribed and was doled out to pregnant women in Canada until August 1962.)  Animal Research Takes Lives by Bette Overell

On June 22 1971 Australian Dr William McBride, internationally respected scientist and gynaecologist was invited to Paris by the Institut de la Vie where 18 Nobel Prize winners gathered to pay tribute to the man who alerted the world to the dangers of Thalidomide.  In a ceremony which he described as "the most shimmering moment of glory never to be forgotten" he was presented with a gold medal and cash prize of $40,000 (with which he established an institute for study of the first 41 weeks of life).  In 1969 he was made a Commander of the British Empire and in 1977 awarded the Order of Australia.  (By the time Thalidomide was withdrawn thousands of babies had been born with terrible malformations, including 27 in Australia.)
    In 1972 after being named Father of the Year, Dr McBride created another international furore by announcing that Imipramine, a widely-used anti-depressant, caused birth deformities.  (The Australian Drug Evaluation Committee rejected the evidence.)  In 1980 turning his attention to the Debendox anti-nausea drug produced by Merrel Dow he appeared as an expert witness for the U.S. women who had children with birth defects and were sueing the manufacturer.  The drug was subsequently removed from the market.  There were many Debendox victims in Australia and New Zealand.  Then McBride said his research showed that Debendox was also responsible for causing mental retardation.  On December 12 1987 McBride was accused of scientific fraud, of manoeuvring the results of the Debendox experiments.  In November 1988 he was found guilty by a committee of inquiry and appealed against the decision.  Dr McBride says that everyone will eventually realise that he is innocent of the charges against him.  In an interview with Jane Cadzow, senior writer for the Australian Good Weekend he accused the N.S.W. Health Department of being a "Gestapo State".  "There's big money behind this", he said: "You know, big business is just as vicious as the CIA.  Because I've given evidence for the kids in America... The drug companies have been known to resort to drastic methods to discredit those who appear in court against them."  Dr McBride launched a Supreme Court action in an attempt to overturn the findings brought against him.  (Little wonder doctors are hesitant to swim against the tide of conventional established thought by asking for the abolition of vivisection, the cause of drug failures - Author.)
(Good Weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald Magazine, July 15 1989.)  Animal Research Takes Lives by Bette Overell