Thalidomide film to air in Germany

May 19, 2007

A film about the drug thalidomide, which caused thousands of children to be born disabled, will air on German television.

Grunenthal pharmaceuticals had tried to get the movie banned, saying it was an unfair depiction of the scandal but judges in Hamburg ruled the movie is clearly fiction, Deutsche Welle said Friday.

The film, called "Contergan: Just One Tablet," is scheduled to air on public television in August.

Contergan was the German name for the drug given to pregnant women to treat morning sickness in the 1950s and the early 1960s. It was later discovered that the drug caused severe damage to the limbs and internal organs of unborn children.

Dr. Annette Fusenig from Grunenthal had criticized the film for failing to properly distinguish between fact and fiction.

The drug maker said issues such as compensation and general treatment of the victims are not fairly depicted in the film, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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