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Diageo’s Christmas Gift to the Thalidomide Trust


Diageo, who created alcohol brands like Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan and Guinness, supports the Thalidomide Trust, who is currently supporting 465 beneficiaries with Phocomelia. The Thalidomide Trust is a charitable organisation that was established in 1973 to support beneficiaries by providing them with health services.

Diageo has signed a new agreement with the Trustees of the Thalidomide Trust and the Thalidomide Trust’s National Advisory Council and will increase their financial support of the Trust by £45 million.

In agreement with the Trust, Diageo will make a one-off payment of £27 million. They have also agreed to commit to the long-term support and care of all the Thalidomide Trust beneficiaries and will provide more funding to employ additional staff to support beneficiaries with ongoing and increasing health needs.

“We have a long track record of working with, and supporting the Thalidomide Trust in their efforts to ensure that long-term care and financial support for people injured by thalidomide is secure. This has always been important for Diageo and we remain committed to our ongoing relationship with the Thalidomide Trust,” Dr. Franz Humer, Chairman of Diageo commented.

In 1957 a drug called Thalidomide was developed and marketed in West Germany to be used as a sedative and hypnotic. It is now used for the treatment of certain cancers and leprosy. But it has also been prescribed for pregnant mothers who suffer from morning sickness.

It was later discovered that 5,000 to 7,000 infants born to mothers who used the drug while pregnant were born with Phocomelia. Phocomelia is a condition where the limbs of the infant is damaged and not fully formed while in the womb. It can also affect the infant’s hearing and sight.


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