Thalidomide came to worldwide attention in 1961 after scientists discovered the drug caused birth defects in babies whose mothers had taken the drug in early pregnancy.
At the time of its launch as a sedative drug, in the late 1950s, Thalidomide was viewed as a wonder drug that was entirely safe. It was licensed for sale in over 50 countries.
Following reports of its benefit in treating morning sickness or sleeplessness in early pregnancy Thalidomide was heavily marketed and commonly prescribed by doctors to women in the first three months of their pregnancy.
Between 1958 and 1962 around 10,000 babies worldwide were born with defects, as a result of thalidomide.
The speaker Louise Medus-Mansell is the author of the autobiography No Hand to Hold & No Legs To Dance On – A Thalidomide Survivor's Story.