On November 17, 1960, Dr. Günter Nowel, in charge of trade relations at Grünenthal, wrote a note about next steps for making sure that Contergan (Thalidomide) remained a drug available over-the-counter and wasn’t made a prescription drug. He suggested “to visit the health departments of all the provincial interior ministries” under any kind of pretext and “then to carefully direct the conversation towards Contergan”. According to the indictment, Klaus Winandi, Grünenthal’s sales manager and who specifically was in charge of making sure that Contergan remained available over-the-counter, had said to Dr. Nowel: “For Contergan we fight to the last breath.” (In German: “Für Contergan kämpfen wir bis zum letzten.”)
Source: Anklageschrift (indictment) from 1967, today archived at the National Archives of North Rhine-Westphalia in Duisburg, Germany (Rheinland Division, Gerichte Rep. 139, No. 1–396), pp. 117-118.