The U.S. Senate has picked up the torch to shift the drug approval process toward human relevant methods, and so speed cruel, unreliable, and unsafe animal testing to its rightful end.
The bill would authorize the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to accept human biology-based alternatives to animal testing, which currently is the only way for drugs to gain approval per provisions passed in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act in 1938.
Leading scientists have known for decades that testing products on animals can’t guarantee their safety or success in treating human diseases, due to genetic differences between species.
That’s why Dr. Aysha Akhtar, a former FDA employee, co-founded the Maryland-based Center for Contemporary Sciences (CCS). The focus of the center is to move safety testing toward human biology-based alternatives, such as organs-on-a-chip.
CCS is the leading scientific support behind the bill.
“Having worked at the FDA for a decade, I saw new drugs coming through the pipeline again and again, only for the majority to fail in clinical trials,” Akhtar told Yahoo! Finance. “About 95 percent of drugs that pass animal tests fail because they are unsafe or ineffective in humans. Can you imagine hopping on a plane and having the pilot announce that you only have about a five percent chance of landing safely at your destination? We desperately need to revamp the drug development process.”
The Senate’s FDA Modernization Act bill — sponsored by U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-Ky), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Mike Braun (R-Ind), and John Kennedy (R-La) — is a companion piece to HB 2565, sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan.
“Thanks to modern scientific innovation, the use of animal toxicity testing for experimental drugs has become increasingly obsolete,” Booker said in a press release. “This legislation will eliminate unnecessary suffering for countless animals when scientifically reliable alternative testing methods are available.”
Changing an outdated law that forces scientists to harm and kill animals, and also test potentially dangerous drugs on humans during clinical trials is critical to scientific advancement, human safety, and compassionate coexistence on this planet.
If you haven’t already, sign our petition urging legislators to support and pass these life-saving bills.