A baby, photographed in 1963, who was missing both arms and legs because of thalidomide. Photo: UPI / Scanpix

Remembering the thalidomide scandal

"Sometimes it's hard for the authorities to understand our needs"
6:16 min

It has been 50 years since Sweden was rocked by the thalidomide scandal. Thalidomide was the medicine that pregnant women took to alleviate morning sickness. But it had a terrible side effect – causing their babies to be born with deformities.

While the drug was launched in West Germany, people in many other countries also took it. Sweden approved Thalidomide in 1959, and it was sold under the name of Neurosedyn. As more and more troubling reports started coming in, Sweden withdrew the drug from the market in 1962. But that wasn't before 180 babies were born here with severe deformities.

Radio Sweden interviews Björn Håkansson, chairman of the Swedish Thalidomide Society, about what challenges faced the children of thalidomide then and now.

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