Non-human primates in medical research and drug development: a critical review
Biogenic Amines, Vol. 19, No. 4-6, pp. 235-255 (2005) Copies available from EMP for £3, including p&p
VSP 2005. Also available online – www.vsppub.com
There is much current debate surrounding the use of non-human primates (NHPs) in medical research and drug development. This review, stimulated by calls for evidence from UK-based inquiries into NHP research, takes a critical view in order to provide some important balance against papers supporting NHP research and calling for it to be expanded. We show that there is a paucity of evidence to demonstrate the positive contribution or successful translation of NHP research to human medicine, that there is a great deal of often overlooked data showing NHP research to be irrelevant, unnecessary, even hazardous to human health and to have little or no predictive value or application to human medicine. We briefly discuss the reasons why this may be so, reflect upon the consequences for future medical progress and, on the basis of our findings, suggest a more scientifically robust and promising way forward.
For the benefit of human medical progress, it is surely time for objectivity, transparency and honesty in the assessment of NHP models and their contribution to medical science. Only by ensuring this can we be confident that we are utilizing scientific technology to the full, performing the best translational research possible, and making real progress towards the relief of human suffering and disease. Read more (pdf)