Grunenthal GmbH

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Grünenthal GmbH (Chemie Grünenthal of Stolberg (Rhineland)) is a German pharmaceutical company in Stolberg near Aachen, which holds the patent to Ultram (Tramadol), and its much stronger derivative Nucynta (Tapentadol), both used as analgesics (painkillers) with Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibition. Unlike Ultram, which is not a scheduled medication, Tapentadol HCI is Schedule II(C-II) in the U.S. (meaning it is a potent agonist, therefore subject to abuse similar to other C-II opioids such as Oxycodone and Levorphanol). The firm was a branch of a soaps, toiletries, and cosmetics business which was formed a short time after World War II.


Since 2004 Grünenthal GmbH in cooperation with the EFIC (European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain) supports young scientists in carrying out innovative and exploratory clinical pain research projects. The EFIC-Grünenthal-Grant, totalling up to 200,000 EUR, is one of the highest research awards for clinical and human experimental research projects on the subject of pain. Research grants are valued at up to € 30,000 per project.


According to Grünenthal, the company invented and marketed Thalidomide (Contergan or Softenon) in the 1950s. The drug was responsible for teratogenic deformities in children born after their mothers used it during pregnancies, prior to the third trimester.

Recent research however, originating from different sources, suggest that the history...
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