PETA to Shame Eli Lilly at Pharma Gala Over Mouse Abuse

For Immediate Release:
September 27, 2021

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Philadelphia – On Wednesday, a group of PETA supporters will create a ruckus during the Fierce Pharma Marketing Awards gala dinner at the Pennsylvania Convention Center over Eli Lilly’s refusal to ban the forced swim test, even though the majority of other major pharmaceutical companies—including Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, GSK, Novo Nordisk, and AstraZeneca, all of whom will also be represented at the event—have done so. In the test, mice and other small animals are often dosed with a test substance, placed in beakers of water, and forced to swim frantically in order to keep from drowning, supposedly to show the effects of antidepressant medication. Eli Lilly has tormented 3,400 mice and rats in the test since 1993, even though it doesn’t accurately predict whether a drug will work as a human antidepressant. Even Eli Lilly’s bestseller, Prozac, hasn’t yielded consistent results in the tests.

When:    Wednesday, September 29, 5–6:30 p.m.

Where:    Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St., Philadelphia

“Eli Lilly’s refusal to ban this near-drowning test is a commitment to bad science,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Company execs should be ashamed to stand in front of their peers and defend this scientifically discredited cruelty.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

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For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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