In the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of babies were born with horrible birth defects, such as limb malformations, after their mothers ingested the drug thalidomide during pregnancy. Thalidomide was used to treat morning sickness, anxiety, or insomnia.
Authorities reported that approximately 10,000 people worldwide suffered from birth defects as a result of thalidomide. It was also claimed that only about 40 babies born in the United States suffered malformations from thalidomide because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) never approved the drug for sale in the United States. These assumptions are now being challenged new information has come to light that the drug manufacturers did not reveal statistics they had about the number of babies born with thalidomide birth defects in the United States.
A recent story in The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that at least ten lawsuits have been filed in federal court in Philadelphia alleging that thalidomide manufacturers conspired to hide the truth about the number of babies born with thalidomide birth defects in the United States. The lawsuits claim that the thalidomide manufacturers lied to Congress about the birth defect dangers of the drug. Although it was never approved for sale in the United States, over 19,000 expecting mothers received thalidomide through various programs. For many years, people born with birth defects were told that the cause of the defect was unknown. Now these lawsuits have the potential to gain access to information that has never been made public, and may provide more information for these mothers and their children.
An order Judge Paul Diamond, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, requires the parties to proceed with discovery in these cases. This includes ordering the drug manufacturers to turn over information regarding the names of doctors that the companies distributed thalidomide to. The Plaintiffs’ attorneys allege that there could be hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the United States that have unknowingly been living with injuries caused by thalidomide.
Lopez McHugh LLP is a nationwide litigation firm focusing on mass tort pharmaceutical litigation and is investigating injuries relating to a wide range of products including pharmaceutical drugs. Lopez McHugh LLP is currently litigating cases related to the dangerous side effects of prescription drugs including Lipitor, Pradaxa, Byetta, Januvia, Yaz, Yasmin, Oscella, Zoloft, and others. If you or your mother ingested thalidomide and suffer from thalidomide birth defects, you may be able to hold the drug manufacturers accountable. Contact Lopez McHugh for a free evaluation.