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Rx Testing Essay

1410 words - 6 pages

Every day, millions of people buy and use a variety of medications from a variety of sources. In this day and age when society seems so concerned with ethics, it is a wonder that in laboratories throughout the country, innocent animals are being made the unwilling subjects of experiments intended to create these medicines we use so often. I think it would benefit society greatly to explore alternate models than animals for experimentation, as the current experiments are cruel and often fatal to the animal subjects involved, and actually produce surprisingly dismal results in the quest for the advancement of human medicine.
I found an interesting piece of reading that seemed to give weight ...view middle of the document...

Through this information alone, it is clear that we need better models for experimentation than animals, not only for the good of the animals, but for the good of the human race as well. As alternatives, the six scientists suggest epidemiology (human population studies), autopsies and biopsies, studies on patients, and post-marketing surveillance. Additionally, they suggest testing medications on actual human cells that contain a specific disease, which would most likely yield the most reliable results possible.
As is promising, other individuals are interested in finding alternate models to animal testing as well. In an article published in The New York Times entitled “Saving the Animals: New Ways to Test Products”, journalist Barnaby Feder mentions this new idea of testing on human cells instead of animals. He mentions that “human skin, eyes, the lining of the throat” are “routinely grown in test tubes from donated human cells”. Of course, this is just one of the methods being developed to replace using animal models for testing. To me, this method seems to be cruelty free to all, and one that would produce more accurate results than merely performing tests upon a species completely different from our own.
In a TIME magazine article entitled “Putting Immunity in a Test Tube”, journalist Catherine Guthrie sheds light upon a similar subject: an artificial human immune system being created by VaxDesign, a five year-old biotechnology company based in Orlando, Florida. They believe that “The dime-sized immune system can predict how humans will respond to new vaccines”. The simulated immune system, called the Modular Immune In Vitro Construct, is a hopeful replacement to animal models, whereas now “many new vaccines are tested in mice, rabbits or, in the case of AIDS, monkeys”. Like the previous article, tests on monkeys in relation to AIDS proved successful on the animal models, but failed in humans. This shows further proof that for a variety of diseases, medicinal trials on animals are unreliable. This new model will hopefully be able to make advancements in this area where animal experimentation has failed.
The subject of failed AIDS research in animal models is brought up once again in another article entitled “Still Dying of Ignorance? 25 Years of Failed Primate Research”. The article is written by Katy Taylor B.Sc., Ph.D. of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, which proclaims it is one of the “world’s leading organisations campaigning to end animal experiments”. Like the previous article, they bring up the use of monkeys (specifically, chimpanzees) as models in attempting to find a cure for the AIDS virus, and how it has failed miserably. Taylor states that “However, it took years to realise that, although chimpanzees can be infected with HIV, they very rarely, if ever, develop AIDS”. Obviously, then, these experiments have caused the needless death of millions of primates with no real advancements at all towards a...

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