Frances Oldham Kelsey: Medical reviewer famous for averting a public health tragedy

“The company continued to send in what they believed was proof of thalidomide’s safety, but Dr. Kelsey adamantly insisted on scientifically reliable evidence, which she felt the application sorely lacked. Approximately a year later researchers in Germany and Australia linked thalidomide to clusters of rare, severe birth defects—hands and feet projecting directly from the shoulders and hips—that eventually were shown to involve thousands of babies. The drug was never marketed in the U. S., and the impact of the near disaster here helped to pass a pending bill that fundamentally changed drug regulation, the 1962 Drug Amendments.”

Various sources tell of the extreme efforts by the William S. Merrell Company of Cincinnati (Richardson-Merrell??? Names differ so unsure of actual firm name) to have the FDA approve a drug that was later proven to cause horrible birth defects in babies. Do a Web search for “thalidomide” for ample proof of the horrors that drug created.

The lust for profit. Pure greed. All else is secondary to acquiring wealth or so it seems among a percentage of the populace. Do those wealth-lusting vermin gravitate to corporations?

Thankfully a strong-willed woman stood up to the forces of evil greed and likely prevented many USA babies from suffering as so many did in countries where the greed overcame care for humanity. A few babies in the USA did suffer but not nearly as many if the FDA had approved that evil vile drug.

Another Web site has this to say about the dangers of thalidomide:

“In the few years that the drug was on the world market, thousands of children were born with Thalidomide-related deformities. Many did not survive until their first birthday. Countless more miscarriages were traced to the use of Thalidomide. The damage in the United States, due to the work of Dr. Kelsey, was small by comparison, with 17 children documented to have Thalidomide-associated deformities. (During an investigational period, Richardson-Merrell had distributed more than 2.5 million Thalidomide tablets to more than 1,000 doctors who, in turn, gave Thalidomide to nearly 20,000 patients, several hundred of whom were pregnant women.)”

More of the above can be read at:

Protecting the Public: Profile of Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey

A Web search reveals much more and some sites cover the disgusting greed of powerful entities within the USA… the corporate system where immense wealth and elite-class corporate owners and operators have immense influence over all levels of governance within the USA. It is scary that without the mental strength of Dr. Kelsey to stand up to corporate greed I and many other children born in that era may have been horribly deformed.

Thank you, Dr. Kelsey.

And piss on all you corporate filth that spit upon the common folks of the USA. Hopefully a day of reckoning occurs some year or decade.



Frances Oldham Kelsey: Medical reviewer famous for averting a public health tragedy | FDA

1 Comment

  1. Dr. Kelsey moved on to head the Investigational Drugs Branch, and from the late 19 until the 19 she led the Division of Scientific Investigations, which oversaw clinical investigators, ensuring the scientific integrity of the data on which the agency’s drug decision-making were largely based.  Her contributions have been widely recognized through Presidential and other awards, honorary academic degrees, and educational facilities named after her.  Also, in OctoberDr. Kelsey was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and in 2010 Commissioner Hamburg conferred the first Dr. Frances O. Kelsey Award for Excellence and Courage in Protecting Public Health on Dr. Kelsey herself. Contact FDA Follow FDA on Facebook Follow FDA on Twitter View FDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to FDA RSS feeds

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