Duncan backs EU Thalidomide Survivors’ Campaign


Ian Duncan MEP has called for the German government to provide financial compensation to the remaining survivors of the drug Thalidomide in Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Dr Duncan was speaking in Brussels in support of a Europe-wide campaign of survivors, which has secured the backing of all seven political groups in the European Parliament.

Thalidomide was widely marketed in Europe by German pharmaceutical company Grunenthal as a non-toxic pain-killing wonder drug. The drug caused thousands of cases of foetal death and abnormality worldwide.

The 'fiftyyearfight' campaign has evidence that the criminal trial of Grunenthal for negligence was prematurely ended in 1970 with the active participation and encouragement of the German Federal Government. This had the direct effect of suppressing all the evidence preventing the victims obtaining justice in their own countries.

Commenting Dr Duncan said

“Now is the time for the German government to right this historic wrong. The number of survivors, often in poor health, is dwindling every year. They are receiving inadequate or nil compensation, yet comparatively small amounts would massively improve their quality of life. I met with Lizzie Buckle, a survivor of drug damage by Thalidomide, who hails from the Isle of Lismore in Scotland. I will be writing to the UK Government urging them to take this up with the German authorities".

Notes to editors

1. For further information on the campaign see attached press pack or go to

Twitter: @fiftyyearfight

2. Ian Duncan is the Conservative MEP for Scotland

3. A Photograph of Ian, Lizzie Buckle and Catherine Stihler MEP is attached


Contact Andrew Johnston

Head of Office, Ian Duncan MEP