Team of PETA Scientists Cite Failure of Current Disease Studies, Outline Needed Paradigm Shift in Research
For Immediate Release:
November 19, 2019
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Washington – Citing multiple scientific studies documenting the failure of current research methods, largely funded by the government, to provide effective treatments for human disease, scientists with PETA prepared and sent “The Research Modernization Deal” report to all government agencies involved in health-related research. The report offers a strategy for identifying and eliminating funding for methods that don’t work and refocusing resources on more promising areas.
“The Research Modernization Deal” presents the government’s own evidence that 95% of all new medications that test safe and effective in animal tests fail in human clinical trials. Failure rates are even higher in specific disease research areas, including Alzheimer’s disease (96.6%), cancer (96.6%), HIV/AIDS vaccines (100%), and strokes (100%). Studies show that 90% of basic research, most of which involves animals, fails to lead to treatments for humans—yet the National Institutes of Health spends nearly half its annual budget on animal studies. This will amount to $18 billion in the next fiscal year.
“Our current system is stuck in an old paradigm, as billions of dollars are being funneled into experiments that aren’t improving or protecting human health,” says PETA neuroscientist Dr. Emily Trunnell. “The Research Modernization Deal offers a practical approach to analyzing what does and what doesn’t work and refocusing funding on methods most likely to yield treatments and cures.”
Among other recommendations in the 56-page “Research Modernization Deal” report are these:
- Immediately eliminate animal use in fields of research for which animals have been shown to be bad “models” for humans and have impeded progress.
- Rebalance the public funding of medical research so that the majority goes to sophisticated human-relevant, animal-free research methods.
- Conduct scientific reviews of the efficacy of animal use to identify additional areas in which such use has failed to advance human health.
- Implement a cost-benefit analysis system for research involving animals that includes an ethical perspective and consideration of lifelong harm inflicted on animals, such as is used in the U.K.
- Work with other world leaders to harmonize and promote international acceptance of high-tech non-animal testing strategies in toxicity testing.
PETA scientists excluded the Environmental Protection Agency from the list of recipients of the report, as the agency has already worked with PETA scientists to begin replacing animal tests in favor of more effective, human-relevant tests.