NRW report admits serious failings

2016-07-03 15:20:54
A report into the role of the state of North Rhine Westphalia in the thalidomide disaster was released recently. 

The report concludes that 1950s were marked by deference to authority, a liberalism in commercial thinking and a "sometimes bordering on naive" confidence in new drugs.  It also admits that the means by which Germany protected itself from unsafe drugs was seriously deficient.  If a manufacturer brought a new drug to market, the authorities - as was normal at that time - simply relied on information provided to them by the drug companies.  When Grunenthal sought to license thalidomide in 1954 it was granted approval after a short period by the NRW interior ministry after being approved by just two individuals.

A video statement from Barbara Steffens can be found here.

As the report was presented it soon became clear that the author had not done his homework.  Many of the documents that demonstrate interference in the trial of Grunenthal executives seem not to have been uncovered to the serious detriment of the report. 

What is more, until there is an inquiry into the role of the German Federal Government into this affair it will be impossible for those affected to find justice.