FROM THOSE WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO GAVE YOU THALIDOMIDE by Ralph Adam Fine

FROM THOSE WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO GAVE YOU THALIDOMIDE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Although there's a dedication to eight people, there's not a word of acknowledgement to that wonderful folk, Jerry Femina, who gave Mr. Fine the title he's so shamelessly lifted. Still it's uninjurious -- except to Mr. Femina -- which is more than you can say for this story of the drug firm which launched MER/29 (and only later Kevadon -- the equivalent of thalidomide for which it never secured FDA approval due to the vigilance of a Dr. Kelsey). All of the members of the company, Merrell, were ""careless"" -- actually reprehensible -- in launching this cholesterol-cutting drug since the early data on its laboratory toxicity was withheld (rats developed corneal opacities; dogs came down with distemper). The FDA was not given the full story but, after initially balking, gave their approval in 1960 and only withdrew it in 1962 -- too late. By that time Merrell had deservedly many cataract case settlements to pay off. Fine has told the story in a perfectly satisfactory fashion but certainly the drug industry had a more thoughtful and broader-based dressing down in Richard Harris' The Real Voice (1964).

Pub Date: May 24th, 1972
Publisher: Stein & Day