Vaccines! Lest we forget the children of thalidomide.

image‘Invented by German drug company Grunenthal, thalidomide was widely used throughout Europe during the late 1950s and early 1960s, resulting in thousands of deaths and extreme, disfiguring birth defects when used by women during pregnancy (Hagens, Berman, 2013). ‘Australian obstetrician Dr. William McBride discovered that the drug also alleviated morning sickness [originally prescribed for insomnia]. He started recommending this off-label use of the drug to his pregnant patients, setting a worldwide trend. Prescribing drugs for off-label purposes, or purposes other than those for which the drug was approved, is still a common practice in many countries today, including the U.S. In many cases, these off-label prescriptions are very effective, such as prescribing depression medication to treat chronic pain…. In 1961, McBride began to associate this so-called harmless compound with severe birth defects in the babies he delivered…. The “clinical trials” of thalidomide involved distributing more than two and a half million tablets of thalidomide to approximately 20,000 patients across the nation—approximately 3,760 women of childbearing age, at least 207 [in the U.S] of whom were pregnant’ (Fintel, Samaras, Carias, 2009). http://www.transformtofreedom.com

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