Medicine: 10,000 Malformed Babies

The tragic extent of the thalidomide disaster was officially confirmed last week in West Germany, where the malformation-causing drug was first synthesized eight years ago. Since 1957, when the sleeping-pill-tranquilizer was approved for over-the-counter sale, announced the Public Health Ministry, it has caused 10,000 cases of birth malformations in West Germany alone. In the U.S., only a handful of thalidomide-connected malformations have been reported, but there are more than 50 deformed babies in Canada, close to 1,000 in Britain, untold scores more across Western Europe, in Japan and South America, where the drug was sold under no fewer than 50...

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