Remind me again, what is thalidomide and how did it cause so much harm? How did it change the clinical trial process?

Remind me again, what is thalidomide and how did it cause so much harm?  How did it change the clinical trial process?

Thalidomide has a dual legacy when it comes to CLL treatments.

1) The thalidomide tragedy caused major changes in the way new drugs were trialled and approved along with the introduction of processes to capture side effects after a drug's approval, dramatically reshaping the Clinical Trial process into what we have today.

2) Thalidomide has successfully been used to treat CLL and only a few years ago the derivative drug Lenalidomide (trade name Revlimid) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenal... was considered to show much promise in treating CLL, in particular because of its ability to improve our response to vaccinations. There's even a trial currently recruiting CLL patients to assess this:

clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show...

The Conversation has today launched "a global series on thalidomide, the sedative and morning sickness drug that caused thousands of miscarriages in the 50s and 60s and left more than 10,000 children severely disabled. Our infographic and timeline explain how the tragedy unfolded, while historian Authur Daemmrich sets the scene of the mid-20th century drug landscape. Could something like thalidomide happen today? Stronger regulations mean it's less likely, writes Sarah Ferber, but for some people, the scandal is still going. Stay tuned for more insights from thalidomiders, legal scholars and medical ethicists throughout the week."

Today's articles:

"Remind me again, what is thalidomide and how did it cause so much harm?

theconversation.com/remind-...

Arthur Daemmrich, Smithsonian Institution

Thalidomide was developed in an era of widespread enthusiasm – but little critical attention – for pharmaceutical therapies. Thalidomide was initially marketed for daytime use, first as a flu treatment, then as ain aid to reduce stress and anxiety.

Infographic: a snapshot of the thalidomide tragedy

theconversation.com/infogra...

Emil Jeyaratnam, The Conversation; Sasha Petrova, The Conversation

Thalidomide was marketed as a safe, sleep-inducing drug, but when taken during pregnancy it could cause severe birth defects. More than 10,000 babies were affected. This is an overview of the tragedy.

Could thalidomide happen again?

Sarah Ferber, University of Wollongong

theconversation.com/could-t...

Thalidomide caused thousands of spontaneous abortions and left more than 10,000 children severely disabled. What guarantee is there that the same thing can’t occur again today?

Timeline: key events in the history of thalidomide

theconversation.com/timelin...

Emil Jeyaratnam, The Conversation; Sasha Petrova, The Conversation

Taking thalidomide during pregnancy resulted in thousands of babies being born with defects and many dying prematurely. The timeline outlines the key events in the history of the thalidomide tragedy."

Neil

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  • Frances Oldham Kelsey a great Canadian

    cbc.ca/news/health/frances-...

    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fra...

    ~chris

  • "In 1964, in the wake of the thalidomide disaster, the Yellow Card Scheme was established in the UK to collect suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to provide an early warning of possible hazards. The scheme allows health professionals, patients, parents and carers to report suspected ADRs on a voluntary basis alongside those collected from the pharmaceutical industry. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Scheme, a new single reporting website has just been launched to support increased reporting and awareness.

    About Yellow Card reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs)

    gov.uk/government/news/yell...

    On - line reporting - The Yellow Card website yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

  • Neil,

    That picture reminds me of 90 mile beach, Victoria.

  • Well it is a beach on the Southern Ocean, but not the 90 mile beach :) .

  • It look's wonderful! It's been a few years' since I last visited Aus'!

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