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Little Tich

(6,171 posts)
Sat Aug 8, 2015, 05:05 AM Aug 2015

Frances Oldham Kelsey, F.D.A. Stickler Who Saved U.S. Babies From Thalidomide, Dies at 101 [View all]

Source: The New York Times

The sedative was Kevadon, and the application to market it in America reached the new medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration in September 1960. The drug had already been sold to pregnant women in Europe for morning sickness, and the application seemed routine, ready for the rubber stamp.

But some data on the drug’s safety troubled Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, a former family doctor and teacher in South Dakota who had just taken the F.D.A. job in Washington, reviewing requests to license new drugs. She asked the manufacturer, the William S. Merrell Company of Cincinnati, for more information.

Thus began a fateful test of wills. Merrell responded. Dr. Kelsey wanted more. Merrell complained to Dr. Kelsey’s bosses, calling her a petty bureaucrat. She persisted. On it went. But by late 1961, the terrible evidence was pouring in. The drug — better known by its generic name, thalidomide — was causing thousands of babies in Europe, Britain, Canada and the Middle East to be born with flipperlike arms and legs and other defects.

Dr. Kelsey, who died on Friday at the age of 101, became a 20th-century American heroine for her role in the thalidomide case, celebrated not only for her vigilance, which spared the United States from widespread birth deformities, but also for giving rise to modern laws regulating pharmaceuticals.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/08/science/frances-oldham-kelsey-fda-doctor-who-exposed-danger-of-thalidomide-dies-at-101.html?_r=0

Note: Long article.
28 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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You did a wonderful thing for American families Mr Kelsey, thank you! haikugal Aug 2015 #1
She. murielm99 Aug 2015 #2
That's even better! haikugal Aug 2015 #15
*She* lived to a good age, and her contribution was at a time when it was rare to see women Gormy Cuss Aug 2015 #4
Indeed....so true! Thanks for the correction! haikugal Aug 2015 #16
Long, but really worth reading MBS Aug 2015 #3
K&R BumRushDaShow Aug 2015 #5
Rest in Peace, Dr. Frances Kelsey and thank you for your service. Uncle Joe Aug 2015 #6
R.I.P. Dr. Kelsey. HeartoftheMidwest Aug 2015 #7
This message was self-deleted by its author guyton Aug 2015 #8
Condolences to her family and friends. What a great person. greatlaurel Aug 2015 #9
Yet another female whistle-blower! They're like a terrier with a bone, once they suspect Joe Chi Minh Aug 2015 #10
K&R. JDPriestly Aug 2015 #11
A similar disaster will happen with GMO food. bananas Aug 2015 #12
Bullshit. Archae Aug 2015 #14
Because history is banned. Texas writes history. Fox "News" writes history. valerief Aug 2015 #18
History's not "banned." CBHagman Aug 2015 #26
That's funny Major Nikon Aug 2015 #24
Thank you Dr. Kelsey and a pox on those who would loosen regulations on food and medicine ... Scuba Aug 2015 #13
As a kid, I remember seeing other kids with those thalidomide arms. valerief Aug 2015 #17
Another good candidate for the $10 bill Demeter Aug 2015 #19
Well, she WAS Canadian. CBHagman Aug 2015 #27
My father was born with no arms, similar to the thalidomide babies being born all over Europe, FailureToCommunicate Aug 2015 #20
RIP, Dr. Kelsey, with our profound thanks. Hekate Aug 2015 #21
This is an example of what didn't happen here. Lionel Mandrake Aug 2015 #22
RIP (You did good!) nt Babel_17 Aug 2015 #23
Actually, she was born and raised in Canada daleo Aug 2015 #25
Frances Oldham Kelsey Elmer S. E. Dump Aug 2015 #28
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