Australia issued a national apology Wednesday to survivors of the thalidomide drug scandal, which Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called one of the "darkest chapters" in the country's medical history.
Thalidomide was a "wonder drug" prescribed in the 1950s and early 1960s to help pregnant women cope with morning sickness, but it was later discovered the chemical also caused severe birth defects in children.
The Thalidomide Trust estimates more than 10,000 babies worldwide were impacted by thalidomide before it was pulled from shelves in the 1960s.
"Every day between then and now, Australians affected by thalidomide have been owed an apology," Albanese said in a speech to parliament as Australian thalidomide survivors watched on.
"Today, at long last, Australia will say sorry.
"This apology takes in one of the darkest chapters in Australia's medical history."
The British government made a similar apology in 2010.
Australian obstetrician William McBride was in 1961 one of the first doctors to raise the alarm, after noticing women taking the drug were more likely to have babies with stunted or missing limbs.
The Australian government has said some 150 thalidomide survivors are registered with a national support program.