The arthritis drug Vioxx showed it had a protective effect on the hearts of mice. Yet, 27,000 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths happened before the drug was pulled from the market. The use of animals for scientific research is not always accurate and animals lives are abused because of it. Though animals are used to learn about illnesses that afflict humans and other animals, the testing has been proven not accurate. When one considers the accuracy of the tests, and it comes at a significant cost of the animals it is clear that animal testing needs to stop.
Over 100 million animals are burned, crippled, poisoned, and abused in US labs every year. For instance, what happens to mice when burned isn’t the same that happens to humans. The time and resources spent using mice to try to figure out how to treat humans are “a heartbreaking loss of decades of research and billions of dollars,” according to National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins. Scientists now understand why all 150 drugs developed using these animals failed in human patients. 92% of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they are too dangerous or don’t work. The study’s lead author stated, “Researchers are so ingrained in trying to cure mice that they forget we are trying to cure humans.” Animals and humans are not the same. It is unneeded suffering for the animals. The cost to taxpayers, patients and mice is enormous.
In some animal cases, it can take months or years to conduct and analyze animal data. For example, 4-5 years in the case of rodent cancer studies. At a cost of hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars per specimen examined. The cost can be $2 to $4 million per two-species lifetime cancer study. The incomplete and outrageous costs associated with animal testing makes it impossible for people to correctly evaluate the potential effects of the more than 100,000 chemicals currently in out in the world for sale today. Plus we don’t know all the effects on the humans sometimes until it is too late. This is why the technology of computer modeling techniques can replace the animal testing research. It is lightning-fast, and many cell-based methods are able to be successfully automated using robotics. This all at a much lower cost than animal tests.
Some say that animal research improves medicine and science. For instance, because of a genetic defect, nude mice have no thymus and cannot make certain cells essential for various immune responses. This characteristic makes them extremely helpful to scientists working in immunology research. In fact, according to the American Medical Association, “Virtually every advance in medical science in the 20th century, from antibiotics and vaccines to antidepressant drugs and organ transplants, has been achieved either directly or indirectly through the use of animals in laboratory experiments.”
In conclusion, with billions and billions spent on so much failing research, it can be puzzling why it continues. We might be much further along scientifically and ethically if we didn’t test on animals. We are in the age of technology. Let us use the technology we have developed with computers and we can stop animal abuse via testing, saving billions of dollars.