A total of 18 thalidomide sufferers in Northern Ireland are set to share GBP 1.1 million of injury compensation from the government.
The drug, which was given to pregnant women in the 1950s and early 1960s, was withdrawn after it was found to cause harm to children in the womb, often leading to malformed limbs and internal organs.
Northern Ireland’s health minister Michael McGimpsey has now said that the country’s thalidomide victims are to receive a share of GBP 1.1 million in injury compensation.
"I fully support the principle of meeting the health needs for any patient who has suffered ill health through using medicines which, unknown to them, carried unacceptable safety risks," he commented.
The news follows the announcement made by the UK government in December that a GBP 20 million support package will be made available to help thalidomide sufferers, which was followed by an official apology in January.