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


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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The end of the criminal proceedings against Grünenthal: 50 years later

50 years ago today, the Aachen Regional Court terminated the Thalidomide proceedings against nine Grünenthal senior employees. The criminal trial is still considered one of the most complex and costly proceedings in German legal history. The legal and medical questions concerning the Thalidomide tragedy were complex and difficult to answer.

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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

The Grünenthal Foundation for the Support of Thalidomide-Affected People

Phone +49 (0) 241 569 2742