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Thalidomide, also formerly known under the trade name Contergan, was a sedative at the center of one of the most infamous episodes in pharmaceutical history. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, more than 10,000 children were born with severe malformations of the limbs and organs on account of their mothers’ usage of the medication during pregnancy. When news of these births came to light, it provoked an international scandal and drew public attention to the processes of drug testing and regulation. In West Germany, members of the company responsible for producing the medication (Grünenthal) were brought to trial in the late 1960s, although the case was eventually discontinued after the firm agreed to set up a compensation fund for victims. While large numbers of ...

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