In May and June 1961 Australian doctor William McBride, a well-known and respected obstetrician, delivered three deformed babies in Sydney. McBride soon figured out a connection between the three mothers of those babies. The only thing they had in common was Distaval (the trade-name under which Thalidomide was sold in Australia by drug company Distillers, under licence from Grünenthal). McBride himself had prescribed it to the pregnant mothers.
Shortly after McBride phoned the Distillers’ office in Sydney to inform them about the three babies and the possible connection to Distaval. McBride made it clear that he believed Thalidomide might have the capacity to maim and kill fetuses. It is unclear who McBride spoke to that day. Distillers later said they never received such a phone call and therefore didn’t know about McBride’s concerns until much later.
McBride later said he additionally got in touch with the prestigious medical journal “The Lancet” sending them an article summarizing his concerns. According to McBride “The Lancet” wrote back rejecting publishing his article.
Source : Michael Magazanik: Silent Shock. The men behind the Thalidomide scandal and an Australian family’s long road to justice. Melbourne 2015, pp. 229ff.