Between 1955 and 1957, Grünenthal asked several doctors to test K 17 (Thalidomide) on humans. The Aachen prosecutors, who indicted company owner Hermann Wirtz and eight leading Grünenthal employees in 1967, concluded in their investigation that most of these testers did not have the required qualification or experience in testing new substances.
Grünenthal handed Thalidomide out to testers from different kinds of fields, among them lung specialists, psychiatrists, dermatologists and other specialists. Grünenthal asked those doctors to specially look at the applications of K 17 in their specific fields. Most of the testers reported positively on K 17, but many also mentioned various side effects, including, dizziness, headaches, constipation -and also at least one case of “light paraesthesia”.
Thalidomide was also tested at a woman’s hospital but never on pregnant women.
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), p. 48ff.