More than 400 people who were born with physical deformities as a result of their mothers taking thalidomide will receive a share of GBP 20 million in injury compensation, funded by the Department of Health.
A three-year scheme operated by the Thalidomide Trust will distribute the money to survivors, following a recent official government apology 50 years after what is now considered one of the worst disasters in medical history.
Health minister Mike O’Brien said that the money will go towards helping to meet the "complex and highly specialised needs" of some 466 victims of the drug.
"The government wishes to express its sincere regret and deep sympathy for the injury and suffering endured by all those affected when expectant mothers took the drug thalidomide between 1958 and 1961," he commented.
However, concerns have been raised by Thalidomide UK that survivors of the tragedy in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may not see any of the injury compensation money.