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Interview: Dr Martin Ashby on animal experimentation

Dr Ashby has seen patients prescribed drugs costing thousands of pounds a month who are nonetheless not receiving adequate nutrition, hydration and basic care. Something is profoundly wrong with the healthcare system, he observes.

500 deaths in France linked to “Mediator” drug

 

Date

Thu 25 Nov 2010 (updated 30 Dec 2010)

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The diabetes drug fiasco illustrates what happens when regulatory authorities allow the pharmaceutical industry to test drug safety by “cherry picking” animal species.

The diabetes drug “Mediator” is another unfortunate example of what happens when regulatory authorities allow the pharmaceutical industry to “cherry pick” the animal species of their choice to demonstrate drug safety. A similar example is the drug Vioxx, which was banned in 2004. Although Vioxx was found to be “cardioprotective” in mice it was nevertheless withdrawn from the market because of its link to 150,000 deaths worldwide as a result of heart attacks and stroke.

It is time for the regulatory authorities to reassess the need for animal testing. It is indeed bizarre that animal experiments remain a legal requirement for the safety testing of human drugs, while the submission of important human data (e.g. pharmacogenomics in conjunction with human cell studies) is still only a voluntary requirement.

See the coverage on CBS news.