Sample letter to your local paper

Dear Editor,

It is a cruel irony that side effects of prescription medicines designed to help us are now one of our leading causes of death, costing the NHS £2 billion a year.

One explanation for the poor safety record of so many drugs is our reliance on safety testing in animals. The government insists that all new drugs are shown to be safe in two species of animals before they can be given to humans. However, overwhelming evidence shows that new technologies based on human biology are more accurate and reliable, with the added bonus of being much faster and cheaper as well.

The Safety of Medicines Bill calls for a comparison of animal tests with the latest human biology-based tests, to show which is the better means to protect patients. If animal tests are superseded, everyone stands to benefit: patients, the NHS, pharmaceutical companies and laboratory animals as well.

Please ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 475 (Safety of Medicines): contact Safer Medicines Campaign for a pre-written postcard: PO Box 62720, London SW2 9FQ, 020 8265 2880, www.SaferMedicines.org

Yours faithfully,

Your name and address

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