Pharmaceuticals

Thalidomide Manufacturer Apologizes for Birth Defects 50 Years Later

The CEO of the Gurenthal Group apologized for manufacturing an anti-morning sickness pill that led to thousands of birth defects

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The German manufacturer of the anti-morning sickness pill thalidomide — blamed for causing birth defects in thousands of babies — has issued its first ever apology, 50 years after pulling the drug off the market. But victims say an apology is not enough.

"We ask for forgiveness that for nearly 50 years we didn't find a way of reaching out to you from human being to human being," said Harald Stock, chief executive of Grunenthal Group, on Friday. "We ask that you regard our long silence as a sign of the shock that your fate caused in us."