Frequently Asked Questions

If possible, ask the person to read TVAC’s website or to communicate with our Head Office in order to explain his or her situation.

It is not TVAC’s policy to communicate with the “suspected victims”. We do not intrude in their lives. Consequently, it is up to them to initiate the procedures.

Furthermore, TVAC is not mandated, nor does it have the financial or professional resources to accompany any person on their search for recognition, whether legal or official, as a thalidomide victim.

To begin with, make sure you browse all areas of our website. It is most likely that your answer is already here.

If you have any further questions, please contact us.


TVAC has strict policies in place to protect the privacy of its members. If you wish to contact someone, you can send your message along with your name, address, and the name of the person you wish to contact to TVAC’s Head Office. If possible, we will then forward your inquiry to the person you are seeking, and it will be left up to them to respond or not.

YES! The activities of the Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada depend largely on corporate and individual donations to support its programs and services, including this website. If you would like to help us financially, or in some other way, please contact our Head Office or visit the Donations page.

The chemical formula for thalidomide is C13H10O4N2.

In words, this is expressed as:

  • 13 atoms of carbon (C), requiring 4 bonds each;
  • 2 atoms of nitrogen (N), requiring 3 bonds each;
  • 4 atoms of oxygen (O), requiring 2 bonds each;
  • 10 atoms of hydrogen (H), requiring 1 bond each.

The chemical name of thalidomide is phthalimido-glutarimide, and it was better known by Chemie Grünenthal as K17.

Aside from the most well-known teratogenic effects which are the birth defects thalidomide causes in developing foetus, there are many other side effects that can affect the patient taking the drug.
In this regard, we invite you to consult the THALOMID page on the Health Canada website under Warnings and Precautions.

For information regarding the current uses of thalidomide and the risks associated, please see our page Thalidomide Today.

Yes. Although thalidomide was never licensed for distribution in the United States, it did not escape the drug’s wrath. Approximately 2.5 million sample tablets were handed out to 1,267 US doctors for ‘clinical trials’, while the pharmaceutical company was waiting for licensing approval from the FDA. These doctors in turn passed the tablets on to about 20,000 patients between 1958 and 1961. The actual number of thalidomide victims born in the US will never be known, but reliable estimates are that 17 were born of which 10 persons survive today.


The best thing you can do is consult with your doctor or specialist to make an informed decision.