PETA to Cialis-Maker Eli Lilly: ‘Don’t Be a Limp D*ck’

For Immediate Release:
March 18, 2022

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Annapolis, Md. – In a thrust to get Eli Lilly, the maker of erectile dysfunction drug Cialis, to stand at attention and ban a cruel, discredited test that forces small animals to swim for their lives, PETA unveiled a new graphic today and will plaster its provocative message across Eli Lilly Vice President Janine Morris’ neighborhood and on social media: “Don’t Be a Limp D*ck.”

In the forced swim test, mice, hamsters, or other small animals are often dosed with a test substance, placed in inescapable beakers filled with water, and made to swim to keep from drowning, purportedly to shed light on human depression. The test has been criticized heavily by scientists who argue that floating is not a sign of depression or despair, as some claim, but rather a positive indicator of learning, saving energy, and adapting to a new environment. Following talks with PETA, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, AbbVie, Roche, AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk A/S, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, and Bristol Myers Squibb have dropped the forced swim test.

“Flaccid leadership is clinging to a cruel and worthless test even when there are superior, humane methods available,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA wants Eli Lilly to stand up, admit that watching animals gasp for air doesn’t tell us anything about human depression, and ban the test.”

In July, U.K. scientists concluded in a scientific paper that the forced swim test can’t predict the efficacy of potential new antidepressant drugs. An article published in STAT confirmed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require the test. Regulators and government officials in the European Union and New Zealand have criticized the test. In August, an article by PETA neuroscientist Dr. Emily Trunnell that examined the use of the test and revealed that it wasn’t successful in determining whether a substance would be effective in treating human depression was published in Drug Discovery Today. And in December, scientists from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Winchester, and other esteemed institutions found that use of the test wasn’t furthering clinical depression research.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind