April 30, 2009
May 12: Bayer Schering shareholder meeting in Duesseldorf/Germany
Primodos victims demand apology from Bayer
Karl Murphy from Liverpool will speak at Bayer´s shareholder meeting which takes place May 12 in Duesseldorf, demanding that the company apologizes to Primodos victims and offers a compensation scheme. Attending will be Bayer´s board, supervisory board and about 4000 shareholders. Murphy´s initiative is supported by the Association for Children Damaged by Hormone Pregnancy Tests, which has been demanding compensation for the last thirty years.
The 36 year old Karl Murphy is one of an estimate several thousand children who were left with deformities after their mothers took Primodos, produced by the German company Schering. Known as 'the forgotten Thalidomide', Primodos was prescribed as a pregnancy test. Schering was taken over by the German chemical and pharmaceutical producer Bayer in 2006.
Karl Murphy says: “'Primodos has ruined my life. I am requesting Bayer Schering to hold their hands up and admit that they got this drug wrong. The management has to help the victims who have been damaged by their actions. Now that Schering has a new owner, it is the right moment to take a step towards its Primodos victims.”
Each Primodos tablet was equivalent to approximately forty contraceptive pills. Already in 1967 the then Committee on Safety of Drugs was warned by a doctor - Dr. Isabel Gal - that foetal abnormalities were associated with the use of hormonal pregnancy testing. In the same year a new and easy method of confirming pregnancy had become available, measuring the level of hormones already present in the body by a simple urine test.
Two medical advisors from Schering Chemical Ltd in Britain were disturbed by Dr. Gal’s findings and examined the details of Primodos sales throughout the country. They wrote to the parent company in Germany saying that questions over the safety of Primodos had to be resolved. However, the warnings were ignored by Schering´s head office. The management was primarily concerned with commercial gain, wanting to maintain their monopoly over the birth control pill market. Bayer Schering is still the world market leader for the contraceptive pill.
Karl Murphy is available for interviews and photos. He will appear in the Bayer meeting by invitation of the Coalition against Bayer Dangers, an international network based in Germany that has been monitoring Bayer for thirty years. It is possible for the media to attend the shareholder meeting.
contact Karl Murphy: 0044 - (0)151 430 7899, Email: email@example.com