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View Diary: How regulation came to be--Power of One: Frances Oldham Kelsey (31 comments)

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  •  Stunning (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sberel, dsteffen, marykk

    A stunning statistic was that 50 percent of the mothers with deformed children had taken thalidomide during the first trimester of pregnancy.

    IOW, thalidomide (in Germany, I assume, from the context of the quote) doubled the rate of physical birth defects.  Particularly astounding if you consider that it's doubtful that all or even most pregnant women at the time took thalidomide during the dangerous weeks.

    •  Yes, a German study. (0+ / 0-)

      By Widukind Lenz.  And at that, I'm not clear on how restrictive it was.  There were certain deformities that thalidomide would cause, and certain others that automatically ruled out thalidomide as the cause., although I doubt that that early in the investigation they were able to classify that precisely.

      Lenz's study involved 150 infants according to the medic8 link with malformations, so it's a fairly small sample.  Also, the use of thailidomide quickly became widespread, according to this link (wish I'd found it for the articel):

      The company's advertising efforts paid off. By 1959 an estimated 1 million consumers were using thalidomide on a daily basis in Germany, with sales reaching one ton a month. In some German states it was even sold without a prescription. It gained wider use when Distillers Ltd., began marketing the drug in Great Britain. Taking Grünenthal's assertions one step farther, the British company added labelling claiming that the drug was safe even for pregnant women.

      <Some interesting stuff on Lenz'a father in that article toward the end of the thalidomide section.  Doesn't sound like the kind of person you'd want to meet in a dark ethnic cleansing...</p>

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

      by dsteffen on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 10:41:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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