The Aword

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Unfortunately, the Glaxo case was settled out of court in 1995, without the company admitting liability.

The settlement of ?7 million sounded generous, until one subtracts the legal fees, leaving individual plaintiffs with a few thousand pounds to compensate for a lifetime of needless suffering.

Closure of the case also prevented newly diagnosed sufferers legal redress.

Bearing in mind the well-known delay between exposure to the dye and onset of symptoms, this has meant a potentially large number of cases of victims with ?no place to go' legally speaking.

Glaxo cite around 300,000 myelograms took place between 1945 and 1987 in the UK using Myodil.

Expert Charles Burton estimates 450,000 myelograms performed each year in the United States between 1940 and 1980, making a total of 19 million procedures.

He suspects all had anatomic adhesive arachnoiditis and estimates around 5% becoming disabled by clinically significant arachnoiditis (which gives 950,000 sufferers in the US and around 2 million worldwide.)

A New South Wales Health Department document of July 1995 reported that

"Myodil is a cause of Arachnoiditis; a condition which may result in chronic, severe and debilitating pain".