Inspired By: Dr. Frances Kelsey
Of all the shows to brag about binging, we’ve been secretly obsessed with Retro Report airing on PBS. It’s one of those shows that’s basic and complex at the same time: revisiting news stories of the past with what our modern reality. The ultimate “where are they now?”
Through this show, we learned about Dr. Frances Kelsey. A mostly unheard of FDA scientist who protected the U.S. from devastating birth deformities associated with the drug Thalidomide that rocked the rest of the world.
I had the feeling that [company executives] were at no time being wholly frank with me, and that this attitude has obtained in all our conferences, etc., regarding this drug.-Dr. Frances Kelsey
As pharmaceutical executives maligned her for delaying the drug’s approval in the U.S., her determination to insist on evidence and data led to the drug’s ban in the U.S. She lived to be 101.
“Her exceptional judgment in evaluating a new drug for safety for human use has prevented a major tragedy of birth deformities in the United States.”-President John F. Kennedy about Dr. Frances Kelsey