The Canadian angle to the thalidomide legacy and scandal, to complement the apology from the drug maker, Gruenenthal, made recently. The apology itself drew criticism from thalidomide survivors, as 50 years too late and 50 years after fighting legal claims, while paying out about $620 million in out-of-court compensation.
The Canadian legacy is a sad one: Thalidomide was distributed in Canada before approval, the cases of Canadian military families in Germany were hushed up, and the eventual halting of Thalidomide distribution took longer than elsewhere.
A salutary reminder to political leaders and policy makers of the need for compassion in policy making, and how the normal bureaucratic delays and legal advice of the risks of apologies, impact on people. Quote:
To this day, Canada has never apologized to the victims of thalidomide and their families, nor has it compensated them adequately.
That is as shameful as it is indefensible.
It is time to shatter 50 years of festering silence.