Frontline Confidential: How to Take on the Pharmaceutical Industry and Win

Talk Wednesday 11th July, 2007

Investigative journalists Elaine Potter and Philip Knightly relate how an investigatation by the Sunday Times Insight Team led to hundreds of Thalidomide victims winning compensation from drug manufacturers.

The manufacturer bragged that their wonderdrug, Thalidomide, was completely safe and sold it in 46 countries under at least 37 names. 

Some patients began reporting unusual side effects. Many pregnant women gave birth to severely deformed babies. The manufacturer fought to deny the evidence.

Thanks to a crusading editorial policy the Insight Team of the Sunday Times under editor Harold Evans took on the drug companies and won compensation for the victims.

Two of the correspondents who worked on the story were Philip Knightley and Elaine Potter, who co-authored the history of the investigation, Suffer the Children with Marjorie Wallace and Harold Evans.
Philip Knightley is an award-winning author and journalist and an authority on government propaganda and the security services. He is an advisor to the Centre for Investigative Journalism.
Elaine Potter is a former investigative reporter with the Sunday Times Insight Team and co-authored a number of books, Destination Disaster from the TriMotor to the DC10, and a Holocaust memoir, A Jump for Life. She is a Board member of the Centre for Investigative Journalism.

The event is organised in association with the Centre for Investigative Journalism