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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Who needs Animal Testing?

Drug testing drugs on animals is an emotive subject, but there is much evidence to suggest that it is ineffective, often ignored, and often results do not translate to human health. Ever since the Thalidomide tragedy, and before, the issue has been hotly debated. 

Thalidomide, like many other Big Pharma drugs, was tested on animals, with no benefit to those who suffered from that horrendous drug.

In March 2007, the magazine, 'What Doctors Don't Tell you', (WDDTY), reported that in 2005 around 3 million tests were carried out on animals in the UK for medical research, and that a study had shown that most of it caused needless suffering to animals. It said that researchers had studied 6 separate animal trials, and found that none of the results were replicable in humans. The research team from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine also reported that many animal studies were poorly prepared, and most ignored even the most basic parameters fro proper scientific testing. Their report also pointed out the very obvious fact that the biological differences between animals and humans are often so great that any results become meaningless
WDDTY had earlier reported (23 June 2006) on a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine that discovered drugs were still used - even when animal tests had uncovered problems. Professor Ian Roberts discovered that animal testing is "a covert, and secretive, activity", and that despite the enormous suffering endured by the animals, results were often ignored by drug companies if they suggest a problem with the new drug. The study reviewed six medical treatments - on head injuries, blood clotting, stroke, disease in premature babies and osteoporosis - and re-examined the initial findings from the animal tests.
     * In assessing the use of steroids for patients with head injuries, the initial animal trials had discovered mixed results. Nonetheless, the therapy was approved for use in humans, and was found to increase the risk of death and so was stopped.

     * Two other studies on stroke showed that the animal test results didn’t translate to humans.  In both cases the drug improved the animals condition - and yet the same drug increased the risk of death and disability in humans.

Most studies indicate that animal testing provides only misleading and conflicting results, and that often they are dangerously unreliable.
So Big Pharma companies might need animal testing, but no-one else does - least of all the animals who die an irrelevant death, or the humans who die because their death is ignored!