Sunday, 9 August 2015

Frances Kelsey dies aged 101

"In 1960, Dr. Frances Kelsey was only a month into her job at the Food and Drug Administration when she was asked to sign off on a drug providing relief to morning sickness in pregnant women."

"The drug was already in use in countries around the world and the drug company insisted it was safe. But Kelsey believed that not enough research had been done and blocked its sale in the U.S., refusing to give in to hardball corporate pressure."

"The drug was thalidomide, later blamed for dire birth defects in thousands of babies, many of whom were born with deformed or missing arms and legs."

"The Canadian-born Kelsey, 101, whose stance not only blocked the drug in the U.S. but also helped bring about changes in FDA regulations, died Friday at the home of her daughter, Christine Kelsey, in London, Ontario, of age-related conditions."

"She died only a day after being presented with the Order of Canada for "outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation."

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