922,918. That’s the number of people that have succumbed to coronavirus since it broke out in December last year. The number continues to rise every day. We can therefore agree that all efforts need to be taken to curb the spread of the disease.
Still, the decision by The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have all pharmaceutical manufacturers conduct drug safety tests on puppies is not only backward but also unscientific. As recently revealed by the White Coat Waste Project Advocacy group, the practice complies with 80-year old FDA regulations. Medical Science has changed a lot since then.
The practice requires that a dog is given the experimental drug to swallow or breathe each day for up to a year. At the end of this period, the dog will either be euthanized or dissected for further examination. You can already see what’s wrong with that work process, yes? It’s very cruel.
Moreover, it has been proven not to work.
According to Francis Collins, the director of the US National Institutes of health, only 10% of drugs entering human trials after animal trials get approved. The other 90% get rejected because they cause dangerous side effects that were not observed during human trials. But that should not even come as a surprise seeing as humans have a very different biological structure to dogs and other animals used for drug testing. This is one of the reasons you can enjoy a hot cup of chocolate but that same cup is lethal to your dog.
What’s really concerning is that companies that are trying to shade this old practice for new and advanced testing methods are facing resistance from the FDA. Vanda pharmaceuticals had to hold off one of their drugs that is emerging as a potential treatment for Covid-19 because they refused to test it on puppies.
Nevertheless, we are still hopeful that FDA will see animal testing as the backward, cruel, expensive, and time-consuming process it is and embrace new technologies. Luckily, lawmakers have taken notice. Rep. Brendan Boyle of D Pennsylvania recently forwarded a letter to the FDA that has been signed by 17 other democrats and republicans requesting that the old practice be abolished. Here’s hoping.
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