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Saving Lives Without Taking Lives

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Pfizer had been one of the leading drug companies for many years. However, they are guilty of testing drugs made for humans on animals. Just recently, PETA accused Pfizer of denying the animal testing pledge, as well as avoiding animal welfare laws by exporting its animal testing to countries with poor or no animal welfare standards. Pfizer isn’t the only pharmaceutical company using animals to test their products on—other leading companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble test on animals as well. For many reasons, animals should not be used in medical research. Three of these reasons are that it’s inhumane, animals and humans react differently to drugs, and it’s both expensive and harmful for the environment.

Using animals for medical research is inhumane for several reasons. While humans have a choice of whether or not they want to volunteer for testing, animals are taken against their will. Like any person, animals still feel pain, fear, and terror. We don’t own them, so what gives us the right to volunteer them for testing? By using them for medical research, we might be improving out own lives. It’s not guaranteed. However, we are taking away their lives. Being locked up in testing facilities all day takes away their freedom; they are deprived of associating with their own kind and enjoying life. They are already used in the fur and food industry, and now there’s the addition of medical research. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1.2 million animals were used in the U.S. in 2005, not including rats or mice. These animals, though, make up ninety percent of all research animals.

Testing drugs on animals can also be dangerous to human patients. According to Mike Leavitt, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, nine out of ten drugs tested safe and effective on animals fail when they get to human trials. Say a company decides to make a new drug that treats a specific disease. Testing the drug on an animal may bring positive results, but the organs in humans and animals run much differently. The company may put the drug on the market, but they’ll face multiple lawsuits if several people have worse conditions after taking the new drug. Thousands of people die each year due to adverse reactions, according to Mike Leavitt. Drugs can be taken off the market due to situations like this.

Animals should not be used in drug testing for one more reason: it’s not only harmful to the environment, but it’s expensive and wasteful. Drugs and chemical solvents can be found in waste water, which is harmful to Earth’s natural resources. There are new tests that can be less time consuming and less costly, and the number of tests increases as technology improves. Also, many mice are bred especially for research, but they have to be killed if they are no longer needed. This is both expensive and wasteful. Other effects of animal testing include air contamination, pollution from gases, and soil contamination due to water from testing facilities. Costly legal claims against companies relying heavily on animal data result from testing, too, according to PETA. For example, Merck & Co. relied on animals to test a painkiller, Vioxx. They faced legal claims and had to pay a price.

There are countless reasons why animals should not be involved with medical research and drug testing, but three especially important reasons are that it’s inhumane, humans and animals don’t react the same way to drugs, and it’s harmful to the environment. As you can see, animal testing is a big issue in today’s society. Pfizer may have taken its animal tests to other countries, but drug companies must realize the numerous problems with drug testing on animals before continuing to do so.





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xoxo.asha. said...
Jun. 2, 2009 at 3:54 am
anisha! omg, what a great article!
i remember helping my sister a. on this an it's like you took her article and suddenly made it a bunchhhhh better! great job.
thanks for informing me on this!
 
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