Pope Francis to aid case of Spanish thalidomide victims

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Raffaele Esposito on Flickr

SPANISH victims of thalidomide, still battling for compensation, have met Pope Francis who promised he would try to support their case.
The drug given to pregnant women to suppress morning sickness in the 60s and 70s is believed to have caused birth defects in around 3,000 people in Spain born during that time. But decades later, only a few of the Spanish victims have been compensated.
The makers of the drug, German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal, have set harsh criteria for victims to qualify for recompense, and Spain has not yet set up a fund for the victims, as has happened in other European countries.
Around 100 Spanish people living with the effects of thalidomide travelled to the Vatican yesterday (Wednesday June 24) to meet with Pope Francis. Alejandro Romero told British newspaper the Guardian that the group was delighted with how it had gone: “He promised he would try to help. He’s the most important diplomat in the world, so maybe he can ring people that won’t speak to us on the phone.”

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