A pain medication that was tested extensively on animals has left one person brain dead and five others hospitalized in its first human clinical trial. The drug, an oral pain medication known as BIA 10-2474, was being tested in France when it killed one healthy human volunteer and left at least four others with neurological damage.
BIA 10-2474 had been tested on animals, reportedly including chimpanzees, who share about 99 percent of their DNA with humans. If experimenters are unable to extrapolate how the human body will react to a drug based on results from chimpanzees, how much harder must it be when examining results from dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, and other animals?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 92 percent of drugs that appear to be safe and effective in tests on animals fail in human clinical trials. At best, these drugs don’t work after considerable time and money has been wasted, and at worst, they claim human lives—all while other reliable non-animal testing methods abound.
What You Can Do
Experiments on animals are deadly and unreliable. Urge the FDA to drop its requirement that pharmaceutical companies test on animals, even when better alternatives are available.