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Thalidomide campaigners to hold EU compensation talks

Thalidomide campaigner Guy Tweedy Credit: ITV News

Harrogate businessman and Thalidomide victim Guy Tweedy will lead a three-man delegation in Strasbourg today for round-the-table talks with Eu Health Commissioner Tonio Borg.

The meeting is the latest step in the Thalidomide victim's long-running campaign for justice against Chemi Grunenthal, the German pharmaceutical company which developed the controversial anti-morning sickness drug in the 1950s.**

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Last month, the delegation - who all suffer from varying degrees of deformities brought about as a direct result of their mothers taking the drug - were granted an audience with Mr Borg, following a concerted lobbying campaign of UK MEPs.

The hope of the campaigners is that they can persuade Maltese Mr Borg to initiate a meeting between them, Grunenthal and the German Government.**

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Mr Tweedy, 51, said: "At the last meeting Mr Borg posed a number of questions, including why we want to involve the German government, which we will answer today.**

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"We have gone away, done our homework and consulted a number of experts to ensure our answers will satisfy Mr Borg, which we hope will then take us one step closer to our ultimate goal - a financial settlement from Grunenthal."** **

Thalidomide was administered to pregnant women to combat the effects of morning sickness, however, in May 1962 the drug was withdrawn after it was linked to crippling side effects in new born babies.**

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A least 2,000 in the UK were born with deformities brought about directly by Thalidomide, and more than half of them died within their first year. An unknown number also died in the womb.**

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Thalidomide survivor: "we will get justice"

Campaigners fighting to win compenation for survivors of Thalidomide reached another milestone in their efforts today.

A delegation including Guy Tweedy from Harrogate had what they described as "a very fruitful meeting" with a senior European official in Brussels.

They want compensation from the German pharmaceutical company which developed the anti- morning sickness drug.

It led to thousands of babies being born with birth defects in the 1960s. Chris Kiddey has more:

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Thalidomide survivor fights for compensation

A Thalidomide survivor from Harrogate says he's had a very fruitful meeting with a senior European official in Brussels today.

Mr Tweedy, who was born with shortened arms and fingers fused together, joined other campaigners in a meeting with EU Health Commissioner Antonio Borges.

They are trying to win compensation from a German pharmaceutical company for hundreds of survivors afflicted by the anti-morning sickness drug, developed by the company more than fifty years ago.

At least 2,000 babies in the UK were born with deformities brought about directly by Thalidomide, and more than half of them died within their first year.

Video: MEP's fight for Thalidomide compensation

A politician from Yorkshire is taking on one of the richest drugs companies in the world to try and get compensation for victims of thalidomide.

The MEP Edward McMillan-Scott wants Grunenthal to pay out for the disabilities caused by the drug, which was given to mothers with morning sickness. The company says it already supports victims with equipment and medical help, but the Lib Dem MEP says that's just paying 'lip service'.

Memorial for children affected by Thalidomide

It has taken more than fifty years but today the very first memorial to the children so badly affected by the drug Thalidomide was unveiled in Harrogate.

Survivors came together from all over the country more than five decades after the morning sickness pill was withdrawn from the UK market. Its effects though are still being felt today, as Jon Hill reports.

Memorial dedication ceremony in Harrogate for Thalidomide survivors

Thalidomide memorial at Harrogate

The UK's first memorial to people affected by the drug Thalidomide has been dedicated in Harrogate.

The memorial, a 16ft copper beech tree and plaque, commemorates babies born with a range of disabilities caused by the drug.

Thalidomide was prescribed to pregnant women in the 1950s as a cure for morning sickness but withdrawn in 1961.

The memorial has been paid for by Harrogate businessman, Guy Tweedy, a Thalidomide survivor.

Mr Tweedy, whose has shortened arms and fused fingers, said: "It killed thousands of babies in the womb and in their first years of life.

"It left thousands more with terrible deformities and affected the lives of thousands of families around the world."

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