Monday, July 23, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] A woman in Australia won a multi-million dollar settlement recently from a British Big Pharma firm, Diageo Plc., a local distributor for the drug Thalidomide, which caused birth defects in thousands of babies around the world in the 1960s, according to her attorneys.
Lynette Rowe, 50, was born without any limbs – no arms and no legs – after her mother, Wendy, took the medication for just a single month when she was pregnant. At the time she took it, Thalidomide, a sedative, was being prescribed to mitigate the effects of morning sickness and for sleep.
Rowe’s settlement is liable to open the door to future settlements by the drug company with more than 100 other Thalidomide victims in Australia and neighboring New Zealand, Reuters reported. They could be set to receive compensation through a class-action suit, said a spokesperson with the law firm Slater & Gordon.
The drug was actually developed and manufactured by German company Grunenthal, and was later licensed in Australia to the firm Distillers, later taken over by Diageo. The law firm said Grunenthal was not a contributor to the lawsuit.
MedlinePlus, an online drug information site hosted by the National Institutes of Health, listed the dire pregnancy-related warning about the drug: “Thalidomide must not be taken by women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant while taking this medication. Even a single dose of thalidomide taken during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects (physical problems present in the baby at birth) or death of the unborn baby.”