The legacy of Thalidomide will always remain a part of our company’s history. We will never forget what happened, and we deeply regret the wide-ranging consequences for the people affected and their families. On this page, you will find information about Thalidomide and how Grünenthal currently provides support to Thalidomide-affected people.

“We deeply regret the severe consequences of the Thalidomide tragedy. We take our responsibility towards those affected very seriously and provide concrete support in their everyday lives.”

Gabriel Baertschi

CEO Grünenthal

Gabriel Baertschi Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Grünenthal Group

Gabriel Baertschi, CEO Grünenthal

Information about the Thalidomide tragedy

A package of the drug thalidomide Forte.

The history of the Thalidomide tragedy

The Thalidomide tragedy has had a fundamental impact on the lives of the people affected and their families. In this chapter, we explore the events that shaped the legacy, including the criminal trial and the creation of the German Federal Contergan Foundation.
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News and current developments


Grünenthal welcomes national apology for Thalidomide survivors by Australian Prime Minister

On November 29th, 2023, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese issued an apology in the name of the Australian Parliament for the role of the Australian government in the thalidomide tragedy. The apology was addressed at Australian thalidomide survivors, who have been campaigning for recognition for years.

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60 Years after the market withdrawal: Dr. Michael Wirtz apologises to those affected on behalf of his family

On the occasion of 60 years after the market withdrawal of Thalidomide, Dr. Michael Wirtz, shareholder of Grünenthal, apologised to those affected and their families on behalf of his family. As company, we welcome this step.

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Contact information for journalists and Thalidomide-affected people

Fabia Kehren

Fabia Kehren

Contact for the public

Global Communications Grünenthal GmbH

Phone +49 (0) 241 569 3269


Tom Hermes - Contact for people affected by Thalidomide

Tom Hermes

Contact for people affected by Thalidomide

The Grünenthal Foundation for the Support of Thalidomide-Affected People

Phone +49 (0) 241 569 2742