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Thalidomide Caused 10,000 Birth Deformities in West Germany

Aug. 29, 1962 - The West German Federal Health Ministry announced today that the sleep-inducing drug Thalidomide had caused about 10,000 birth deformities in West Germany. The pill was put on the market in 1957 and sold without prescription. The pills were withdrawn from sale last November following reports that Thalidomide had caused birth deformities in many parts of the world. Dr. Siegfried Stralau, spokesman for the Health Ministry, said about 1,600 of the 5,000 crippled babies were so gravely deformed that they will have to use artificial limbs. A few of them were also born with deformed internal organs, he added.

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