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Thalidomide survivors to get £80m grant

21st December 2012

The government has set aside £80m to meet the health needs of 325 Thalidomide victims in England over the next decade.

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It will support them as they approach old age and be paid to the Thalidomide Trust through an annual grant.

Funds will help adapt homes and cars and buy wheelchairs for survivors of the drug

Thalidomide, which was made by German company Gruenenthal and used by pregnant women to ease morning sickness between 1958 and 1961 but led to many babies being born with physical disabilities.

Some survivors had previously received compensation from Distillers, which distributed the drug, but in 2010 the government admitted a history of being at fault and agreed to a three-year pilot project which distributed more than £25m in grants.

Health minister Norman Lamb said “This deal represents our clear acknowledgment that 'thalidomiders' should be supported and helped to live as independent lives as possible, and we hope that this grant will aid that cause and provide an element of long term financial security.”

Mikey Argy, who led the lobbying of MPs, said the money will give survivors security and help people as they age.

She said: “We were able to do strange things with our bodies when we were young and agile to get around our disabilities - people have relied on their feet and teeth to do everyday things, for example - but this gets harder when you’re older.”

The Thalidomide Trust has welcomed the money.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has pledged a separate £14.2m to help the 58 Thalidomide in Scotland.

 

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Comments

Anonymous

Saturday 29th December 2012 @ 15:09

sir,

Allow me to take the liberty of thanking the Government and the MPs on behalf of the Thalidomiders. No doubt, this will go a long way in supporting them.


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