Thalidomide campaigners win payout

By Marcus Dysch, December 30, 2009

Two Jewish thalidomide victims have welcomed the success of their long-running campaign which will see the government pay sufferers £20 million in compensation.

Guy Tweedy and Nick Dobrick, who were both born with shortened upper limbs as a result of being given the drug, had called for greater recognition for sufferers for the past seven years.

The Department of Health has now agreed to spread payment to the Thalidomide Trust over three years. The charity will share the money among Britain’s 463 surviving thalidomide victims.

It is thought at least 1,000 children were born with severe deformities in the 1950s and 1960s after their mothers were prescribed the drug as a treatment for morning sickness or insomnia while pregnant.

Mr Tweedy, 47, a member of Harrogate Hebrew Congregation, said: “This is significant in the long-running battle to get a fair and just settlement for the victims of this wicked drug.

“Our campaign, which was fought with dignity and determination, has always been about justice and not entitlement.

“For years we have had to live with the consequences of our mothers taking this ‘wonder drug’.”

Last updated: 1:50pm, December 31 2009