Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin backs campaign for thalidomide compensation

Dudley MP Ian Austin has backed a campaign for people affected by thalidomide to get fair compensation.

Thalidomide was a drug developed by the German pharmaceutical company Chemie Grünenthal in 1954. The drug was regularly prescribed to pregnant women, but in 1961 it was proven to cause birth defects affecting 2,000 British babies.

The German government has now accepted that British thalidomiders are now entitled to apply for compensation, but the process requires X-rays, proof of the mother's ingestion of thalidomide, and countless medical tests

Austin has signed a letter to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel backing calls for the process to be reformed so it’s easier for thalidomiders to get the compensation they are entitled to.

Ian Austin said:

“I welcome the German government’s commitment to compensating people affected by thalidomide here in Britain, but the difficulty of applying for compensation will mean that many lose out.

“I’m backing calls for an alternative application process that makes it easier for those affected to get the compensation they deserve.”

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