Frances Oldham Kelsey

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Frances Oldham Kelsey
Frances Oldham Kelsey.png
Born (1914-07-24)24 July 1914
Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia
Died 7 August 2015(2015-08-07) (aged 101)
London, Ontario
Occupation Physician, FDA employee
Known for preventing thalidomide from coming to market in the United States
Spouse(s) Fremont Ellis Kelsey

Frances Kathleen Oldham Kelsey PhD MD (24 July 1914 – 7 August 2015) was an Canadian-American pharmacologist. She was a reviewer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She refused to authorize thalidomide for market because she had concerns about the drug's safety.[1]

Her concerns proved to be justified when it was proven that thalidomide caused serious birth defects. As a result of her blocking American approval of thalidomide, Kelsey was awarded the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President John F. Kennedy,[2] Kelsey retired from the FDA in 2005, at age 90, after 45 years of service.[3]

Kelsey died at her daughter's home in London, Ontario at the age of 101.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. --- (1986). "Frances Kelsey". Canada Heirloom Series. Heirloom Publishing Inc. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  2. Kennedy, John F. (1962). "Remarks upon presenting the President's Awards for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service". Retrieved 2006-05-01. 
  3. Rouhi, Maureen (2005-06-20). "Top Pharmaceuticals: Thalidomide". Chemical & Engineering News (American Chemical Society) 83 (25). http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/83/8325/8325thalidomide.html. Retrieved 2006-04-30.
  4. Canadian doctor who kept thalidomide out of U.S. dies

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Harris, Steven B. 1992. The Right Lesson to Learn from Thalidomide.
  • Mintz, Morton (1965) The therapeutic nightmare; a report on the roles of the United States Food and Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and others in connection with the irrational and massive use of prescription drugs that may be worthless, injurious, or even lethal. Boston, Houghton Mifflin. LOC HD9666.6 .M55, Dewey 338.4761519.Library of Congress catalog entry
  • McFadyen, R.E. (1976). Thalidomide in America: A Brush With Tragedy. Clio Medica, 11, (2), 79–93.