These consider some of the issues relating to the use of animals in biomedical research:
When researchers administer a substance to animals, they get plenty of feedback on the effectiveness of that substance in the animals tested. However, results nearly always differ between species, so testing a substance on animals is not a reliable method of predicting the human responses to that substance. Some drugs with potential benefit for humans might not be approved because they have been found to harm animals; conversely, drugs found to be safe in animals might then go on to harm humans.
It is estimated that more than 10,000 people are killed every year in the UK by adverse reactions to prescription medicines (Pirmohamed et al 2004). In the US, adverse drug reactions are the fourth –sixth leading cause of death (Lazarou et al 1998). The arthritis drug Vioxx caused thousands of deaths prior to being taken off the market in 2004. It is difficult to estimate the exact number of deaths, but a scientist at the United States Food and Drugs Agency (FDA) calculated that approximately 55,600 people may have died as a result of Vioxx in the US alone (www.whistleblower.org/dr-david-grahams-full-story). While the FDA and the company that developed Vioxx failed in their responsibilities (Topol 2004), animal tests failed to predict that Vioxx would cause deaths and adverse reactions in humans.
By Rebecca Ram This month marks World Liver Day (held every year on 19 Apr) to raise awareness about diseases of the second largest organ in the body. After the brain, the liver is the most complex organ and is vital to the efficient control of the gastrointestinal (digestive) system. Liver diseases account for approximately […]New Approach Methodologies in COVID-19: systematic review into the neurological effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection presented at SOT (Society of Toxicology) Congress 2022
By Rebecca Ram Launched nearly two years ago, the CIAO project (Modelling the Pathogenesis of COVID-19 using the Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework) involves the collaboration of scientific experts to identify the chemical and biological events involved in the body’s response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Expert working groups are established across a number of areas, for […]