Thalidomide : Who Is Responsible For The Tragedy Essay

1491 Words Dec 4th, 2016 6 Pages
Who is responsible for the tragedy
Thalidomide, created by Chemie Grunenthal was hailed as a ‘’wonder drug’’ by many as it provided safe and sound sleep to the mother but its effects are still present in today’s society. Who is to blame for the consequences still faced by thousands of victim’s generations after its mass distribution?
Firstly, the company Grunenthal is to blame due to their inefficacy in clinically testing the effects of the drugs in pregnant women and its effect on the foetus. They did carry out tests in rats, but not the appropriate kinds of tests. The rats were tested at high thalidomide dosages, the rats did not fall asleep, nor was the high dosage lethal. They mistook the non-lethality as non-toxicity. Grunenthal further carried out brief clinical testing on humans, and found out that thalidomide induced sleep in humans similar to the actions of barbiturates. Grunenthal assumed barbiturates nontoxicity applied to thalidomide and approved the drugs as ‘’completely safe’’ for all (Somers, 1960). Around the time period of 1957, the scientific community was fully aware about the ability of alcohol to pass through the placental barrier and affect foetal development (Landesmn –Dwyer, 1982). Grunenthal scientist believed the placenta was impervious to the effects of drugs ingested (Mcbride, 1961). This knowledge did not prompt scientist to test if the drugs could cross the placental barrier and harm the developing foetus (Landesmn –Dwyer,…

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