More than £1,000,000 has been set aside to compensate survivors of the thalidomide scandal in Northern Ireland for their medical accident claim. The scandal happened in the 1950s when pregnant women were prescribed the thalidomide drug to combat the effects of morning sickness. The drug was soon stopped in 1961 after it was discovered that it caused serious birth injuries to children such as limb deformities. A total amount of £1.1 million has been made available for victims to claim through the Thalidomide Trust.
Michael McGimpsey, the Northern Irish Minister for health has expressed his sorrow for the scandal. He said, “I am sincerely sorry for the injury and suffering endured by those affected when expectant mothers took the thalidomide drug between 1958 and 1961.” The compensation will make a huge difference to the lives of sufferers who were injured by the drug. Recently it was also announced that compensation would be available for English thalidomide victims.