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Dr. Kelsey, Who Blocked Sale of Thalidomide Here, Honored by the President

Aug. 7, 1962 - Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, who blocked marketing of the drug Thalidomide in the United States, pronounced herself “impressed and overwhelmed” today as President Kennedy hung a gold medal around her neck. Mr. Kennedy said that the hopes “we all have for our children” underscored the importance of Dr. Kelsey’s accomplishment. The drug has been blamed for deformities in thousands of children born in West Germany and other countries where it was sold. The medal was the award for distinguished Federal civilian service.


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