HomeAnimal TestingImpossible Now To Justify Drug Tests on Animals

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Impossible Now To Justify Drug Tests on Animals — 13 Comments

  1. Michael – I see you realized after your initial response (“read the article before commenting”) that my “oops” comment was made with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. When I read the headline before I clicked the article, my first thought WAS that it concerned the testing of animals for drugs (antibiotics in cattle, etc.). I then read it.

    On a serious note, I too am against testing of drugs on animals on ethical grounds. However, the other reasons you list for not testing on animals – poorly designed tests, “cherry-picking” or falsifying test data, avoiding bias – are not unique to animal testing. I’m certain there are many other studies that show the same problems in all stages of drug testing, whether or not animals are involved -including final human testing.

    These problems will continue to plague all aspects of drug testing as long the financial stakes are so high. The unrelated, but instructive case of VW’s emission testing cheating illustrates what can happen to ethical constraints even in “respected” companies when profits are on the line.

    The drug companies’ logical response to your cited evidence would be to say “Yes, we agree, but that was in the past, and we have learned from those mistakes. We have now put protocols in place to ensure that all current and future testing is bias-free, well designed and carefully peer reviewed “.

    As to the ethical argument, their response has alway been that animal testing speeds drugs to the market, thus potentially saving human lives and in the process reducing the risk of serious complications in final human testing.

    I’m not buying either response. To the first, I’ll believe it when I see it. The drug companies have known about the testing protocol problems for years and we have yet to see clear evidence that they have been addressed. To the second (saving human lives), I say “show me the data”. They can’t.

  2. I’m not so certain that drug testing of animals is impossible to justify. My cat is one of the family, and we all love him dearly. If he were to start behaving strangely, looking disorientated, becoming withdrawn or generally not being himself, I would certainly want to know if he had taken up with a “bad crowd” and was getting into drugs. To many pet fanciers have put their heads in the sand on this issue!

  3. That research has always been about the money. Those so-called scientists lie about the results but never mind that hundreds if not thousands of innocent animals lose their lives due to human greed and stupidity.

    • How do you know this? I also deplore animal testing, but to declare that pharmaceutical researchers ‘lie’ is fairly strong and desperately false. A friend of mine is in pharmacological research and I do not think he has ever lied about results in his life: in science we have a thing called peer review in which researchers are generally held accountable.

      • To add to that, nobody ‘likes’ animal testing. But remember that the scientists you disparage are the ones whose research is giving you new alternatives. And guess what? The generation of artificial tissues also unavoidably involves animal experimentation. Your scornful brushing-off of people who dedicate their lives, their health, their peace of mind and their sleepless nights to furthering the cause of civilization where ultimately both humans and animals will have more choice available says less about them and a great deal more about you.

        • I disagree with you. I cannot see how animal testing can be justified. Why should millions of animals be hurt and killed for our questionable benefit? What moral right do we have to do that?

        • Well, Helene, the fact that you became so defensive and tried to cast personal aspirations on me makes you look desperate and oddly defensive. Struck a nerve there, huh? Good. Researchers are not angels from on high. They are flawed humans, just like the rest of us. Not saints. There have been numerous studies where researchers have lied like rugs, they inflate their findings to get and secure funding for their projects. Can’t tolerate a opinion different from yours? Too bad, dearie. You certainly came to the wrong place for that one, and especially with that attitude.

      • I am with Serbella on this. The big pharma companies do lie but in a very subtle and insidious way. They do it in may ways not only to do with animal testing. They flog drugs to doctors who then overprescribe for example. There is a lot wrong with the drug companies although of course they do a lot of useful things too. The trouble is that animal testing is seen as immoral by many people and many drug companies do animal testing. Therefore to many they act immorally.

        • Thanks, Michael. Seems like Helene thinks Big Pharma is saintly and can do no wrong. With all the contrary evidence out here, beyond animal testing, that’s a rather narrow-minded attitude to have, but whatever floats her boat.

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