This story of a brave woman who saved thousands of children from disability will inspire you
There were times when no one would listen to the words of a female scientist, but Frances Oldham Kelsey stood her ground, was right and saved thousands of life.... Have you ever heard her inspirational story?
If Frances hadn't been given unisex name, this story would not have happened
While working in Dr. Geiling's lab, Kelsey gained a lot of experience in unraveling medical mysteries
By 1950, Kelsey earned a doctorate in pharmacology in and a medical degree. She got married and gave birth to two daughters.
In 1960, Dr. Kelsey accepted a job at the FDA
Kelsey's skepticism saved thousands of lives
Instead, she asked the manufacturer for additional data and more safety studies. Kelsey noticed discrepancies in the application, and didn't want to get past this fact. As it turned out, the company hadn’t performed experiments on pregnant animals, which meant that the drug, when taken by pregnant women, could cross the placenta. Moreover, many documents provided by the manufacturer contained errors.
The company provided FDA with more data reluctantly, as Kelsey's stubbornness costed them millions of dollars. Anyway, this data never met the standards. It started a conflict, which persisted for more than a year. Many people was pushing Kelsey, even some of her colleagues, as it was her first month at the FDA and one of her first assignments. In people's eyes, she seemed incompetent. But she didn't back down.
By 1961, Kevadon, also known as thalidomide, had been shown to cause serious birth defects in tens of thousand of babies in Europe, Canada and the Middle East. Kevadon was usually prescribed to pregnant women to suppress morning sickness, though it was initially marketed as a sedative. The manufacturer marked it as "safe for pregnant women", despite never having conducted corresponding experiments. Because of thalidomide, 20,000 babies worldwide were born with deformities, while 80,000 died in utero or shortly after birth.
Kelsey's concerns proved to be justified, and Kevadon was withdrawn from the market. The death of thousands of babies was prevented. The medical disaster had been stopped.
Kelsey's good work was rewarded
Have you ever heard about Kelsey before? Did her story surprise you? Do you know any other inspirational stories about brave women?
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