Frances Kelsey with JF Kennedy-FDA-Photo

Tributes are hailing Frances Kelsey as a hero after her death at the age of 101 on Friday.

The Canadian pharmacologist fought tenaciously in the 1960s as a medical officer for the Food and Drug Administration to keep the crippling drug thalidomide out of the U.S. market.

The drug was being used in Europe and other countries to treat morning sickness and insomnia in pregnant women, but hundreds of children were being born with horrible birth defects as a result.

Kelsey was the second woman to be awarded the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President John F. Kennedy.

(READ the obituary in the Washington Post) – Photo from FDA

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