Yesterday, the Australian Government has announced a programme to financially support people affected by thalidomide. The proposal has been prepared by the Minister of Health after a request from the senate in 2019.
Grünenthal deeply regrets the thalidomide tragedy and the consequences for those affected and their families. We also recognise the profound difficulties faced by Australians who have been affected by thalidomide and the importance of the assistance package announced by the Australian Government yesterday.
Grünenthal is pleased to make the support programs of the Grünenthal Foundation available to Australians affected by thalidomide. The foundation works with people affected by thalidomide to improve their living situations. It steps in to provide assistance such as modifications to homes or to vehicles that is not usually available through other support programs. More than 2,000 affected people around the world have received support from the Grünenthal Foundation since it was established in 2012.
Access to support from the Grünenthal Foundation can be granted to affected Australians who meet certain, well-proven eligibility criteria, similar to those used by the Contergan Foundation in Germany or the Thalidomide Trust in the UK. The Australian Government will establish the process for assessing local eligibility for its support program. It is planned that affected people who are acknowledged by the Australian government will be able to apply for the support of the Grünenthal Foundation. Any support extended to Australians will be on the same terms as recipients in other countries.