Saturday, August 08, 2015

#Wikidata - Frances Oldham Kelsey

When someone like Mrs Kelsey dies, it is wonderful to read about her in the Wikipedia article. There are always some factoids that can be added to the Wikidata item.

What struck me most is not the story of how Mrs Kelsey prevented the USA from the effects of thalidomide in babies but the importance that an article in the Washington Post had. Thanks to an article by Morton Mintz there was an outcry that resulted in the passing of the Kefauver Harris Amendment. It required drug manufacturers to provide proof of the effectiveness and safety of their drugs before approval.

Another fun fact is that the FDA named an award after Mrs Kelsey; she was the first to be awarded the FDA Kelsey Award. There is not much to find about this award because there is a controversy about the award. People protested that Mrs Kelsey's good name was abused by political appointees to the FDA who wanted to diminish its powers..

For Mrs Kelsey only a few awards were added in Wikidata. There are more awards but as always, there is more to do.
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