This Day in History: 1962-08-07

1962: Canadian-born American pharmacologist Frances Oldham Kelsey is awarded the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service for her refusal to authorize the drug thalidomide in the United States. Thalidomide was marketed by the pharmaceutical industry to pregnant women as a wonderful, side-effect-free way to prevent morning sickness, among other uses. It caused over 4,000 unborn children to die in the womb, and more than 6,000 to be born with horrific deformities.

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