Local MEP helping take Thalidomide campaign to European level

STRAS EP BLDG1An East Midlands MEP is supporting Thalidomide survivors in their campaign for the company that developed the drug to finally pay compensation to all those affected.

Labour MEP, Glenis Willmott, has been working with the Thalidomide Trust’s Show Your Hand campaign since last year and has helped to raise the issue at a European level.

Now their campaign has taken a step forward after Glenis managed to arrange for the campaigners to meet the EU’s Health Commissioner, Tonio Borg.

East Midlands MEP and Labour’s Leader in Europe, Glenis Willmott, said:

“Up to now, Thalidomide survivors in the UK have only received compensation from the UK Government and the UK distributor of the drug, Diageo.

“However, with survivors now in their 50’s and 60’s, they are experiencing additional health problems and this compensation is not enough to meet their health needs.”

Thalidomide was developed by German company Grünenthal.  The company has not paid compensation to UK survivors, despite publicly apologising for their role in the tragedy in September 2012.

Show Your Hand’s campaigners will travel to Strasbourg this week to meet the Health Commissioner and ask him to support their campaign.

Glenis Willmott said:

“Everyone remembers the Thalidomide scandal but I was shocked to discover that the company that actually developed the drug has never paid compensation to UK survivors.

“Thalidomide was distributed in several European countries so this is a European issue.

“Hopefully this week’s meeting with the EU’s Health Commissioner will see him give his support to the campaign.

“We need to ensure that Grünenthal finally live up to their responsibility and pay real compensation to those who have suffered as a result of their mistake.”



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