The Effects Of Thalidomide And Its Effects On Children Essay

1531 Words Jan 12th, 2016 7 Pages
In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, a pharmaceutical drug hit the market that caused a global uproar. Thalidomide, an over-the-counter sedative and anti-nausea drug caused dramatic birth defects called phocomelia, in newborns. Because one of thalidomide’s purposes was as an anti-nausea drug, a large section of its buyers were pregnant women. Birth defects included being born without arms or legs, blind and deaf, heart defects or intestinal abnormalities. Some of the babies were only a trunk with an eyeless, earless head, some were mentally retarded. Around 10,000 babies were born with these symptoms all around the world. (N. Schlager, 2008)
Body 1- What is thalidomide
Thalidomide, C13H10N2O4, was first developed in 1954 by Chemie Grünenthal, a West German pharmaceutical company. The drug never underwent a proper chronic study. It had undergone a “suck it and see it” or “innocent until proven guilty” method of testing the drug. It was a trial and error. The organic chemist put together the compounds, and then he/she would give them to the pharmacologists, who would test the drug on animals. If the drug had promising results in the animals, then it would be administered to humans and available to the general public. But throughout this whole process, no one thought about testing the drug on pregnant animals even though this drugs main purpose was to help expecting mothers with morning sickness. At the time, Grünenthal gained most of its profits from selling under licensed…

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