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Thalidomide is the new approved drug for treating multiple cancers

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) had approved the drug for use to treat the cancer multiple myeloma in 2003. This was revealed by a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Ageing. It is available through Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.//

"The next step with any drug is to go to the PBS," as said by the spokesperson.

The history of the drug use reveals that the drug was originally used in Australia in the late 1950s and early 1960s to treat morning sickness and as a sedative but was taken off market around the world after it caused birth defects and miscarriages.

"The drug fell into disrepute because of miscarriages and its effect on the unborn child, however over the years it has been found to be very effective drug for other things," she said.

Even now the drug comes with a strict warning not to be used by pregnant women, women planning to become pregnant, or the male partners of women who are planning to become pregnant. "The TGA approved the drug under strict regulations," she said.


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