The German manufacturer of anti-morning sickness drug thalidomide has for the first time apologized to people who were born with congenital birth defects as a result of its use.
Pharmaceutical company Gruenenthal says it is asking for forgiveness from the thousands of children born without limbs to pregnant women who took the drug during the 1950s and 1960s.
Chief executive Harald Stock said Friday that the company had failed to reach out "from person to person" to the victims and their mothers over the past 50 years.
"Instead, we remained silent," Stock said at an event in the western city of Stolberg where Gruenenthal is based.
Thalidomide was pulled from the market in 1961 after it was linked to birth defects. Many victims have only recently received compensation.