Published: 09:05 +11:00, 19 March 2017 | Updated: 21:00 +11:00, 19 March 2017
Victim: Karl Murphy as a boy. He was left with deformed fingers
A pregnancy test pill given to more than a million British women in the 1960s and 1970s may have caused severe birth defects and life-threatening abnormalities in thousands of cases, a shocking investigation has revealed.
Damning new evidence exposes the scale of the growing scandal and an alleged cover-up over Primodos super-strength hormone tablets, given to women by GPs.
A review of archived documents found a study by renowned Professor Bill Inman, who was responsible for helping to revise medication safety regulation following the thalidomide scandal.
He concluded that the 1.5 million women given Primodos were five times more likely to have a disabled child than those who didn’t take the drug.
The findings have renewed hope for the affected families, who have so far not been compensated by the drug’s manufacturer – but could now have a ‘strong case’ to sue the manufacturer for tens of millions.
And last week Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy announced the Government had ordered medical chiefs to investigate, saying: ‘It’s vital we take concerns such as these seriously. That’s why we’ve asked the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to conduct a thorough scientific review of the evidence.’
Prof Inman’s research, carried out in 1975, three years before the pills were eventually withdrawn from the market, was only passed to the drug’s manufacturer, German pharmaceutical firm Schering, and not made public.