UK National Government
1973: The Thalidomide Trust was set up to
administer payments made by Distillers, who
had distributed the Thalidomide drug in the
1973: Distillers (now Diageo), agreed to pay £20 million
sterling in compensation.
1974: The British government donated £5 million
sterling to the Thalidomide Trust, which was an
offset of tax on the original £20 million paid in
1996: The British government, without offering any
particular reason, donated a further £7 million.
2004: The UK government introduced new legislation
(Statutory Instrument 2004 1819) so that the
Annual Grants received by beneficiaries were
treated as damages for personal injury and
were therefore exempt from Tax.
2005: Distillers agreed a complex new multi-year
financial settlement estimated to cost in the
order of £153 million as additional
compensation for Thalidomide survivors.
The additional funding provided for covenant
payments to be increased and for the
payments to be extended from 2022 to 2037.
This was calculated on the basis of the money
required to double beneficiary annual
payments from 2004 levels by 2022.
2010/Jan 14: British Health Minister, Mike O’Brien,
confirmed a new £20 million support package,
which had been announced during the month of
This was for three years funding (initially on a
pilot basis) to meet the increased health needs of
The £20 million will be administered through the
If the £20 million was to be divided equally across
all surviving Thalidomide survivors in the UK,
each survivor would receive in the order of
£43,000 sterling (dependent on their level of
2010: United Kingdom Health Minister (Mike O’Brien)
makes a formal apology to their Thalidomide
Victims, expressing “sincere regret and deep
sympathy” on behalf of the government.
2012/Dec 20: Brittish government paid £80-million
sterling into the Thalidomide Trust.
2017: The UK government introduces a "benefits
disregard" so that the funding received by the
UK Thalidomide survivors from the Thalidomide
Trust is disregarded when they are assessed for
eligibility to receive state-funded benefits.