Echoes of thalidomide: the sodium valproate scandal

Epilepsy drug has caused autism, learning difficulties and physical disabilities in at least 20,000 babies in Britain

Photo collage of prescriptions, warning labels, and a posed photo of Dr William McBride, who alerted the world to the dangers of thalidomide, holding up a beaker
The Patient Safety Commissioner for England, Dr Henrietta Hughes, said the sodium valproate scandal was 'bigger than thalidomide'
(Image credit: Illustration by Julia Wytrazek / Getty Images)

Families of children harmed by a drug that caused up to 20,000 babies to be born with disabilities have welcomed calls for compensation after their plight was compared to the thalidomide scandal.

The Patient Safety Commissioner has said in a new report that "thousands of women, children, and families have been harmed" by the epilepsy drug sodium valproate and "there is a compelling case for the government to award them redress".

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us