The attitude towards disabled people, including Thalidomiders, changed slowly over the years – thanks to the commitment and hard work of lawyers and journalists, who played a crucial role in gathering public support and making sure survivors receive adequate compensation.
As a result of the Thalidomide scandal many countries around the world also made significant changes to their drug laws, hoping that something like this would never happen. Some governments acted immediately while it took legislators in other countries many years to pass new regulations. Interestingly West Germany, where it all began, was one of the last countries to impose stricter rules on its pharmaceutical industry.
Compensation schemes also varied in the affected countries around the world. In Germany Grünenthal and the government set up a trust fund to compensate survivors – after long court battles that ended without a verdict. This arrangement was soon extended to Thalidomiders in countries in which the drug had also been sold by Grünenthal (such as Austria, Brazil, Mexico and others). Survivors in countries, where other drug firms distributed Thalidomide (for example Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Japan), were not included in the German arrangement.