To the Editor: Reality of animal studies

To the Editor: 

Jennifer Skiff’s letter (Kudos to Collins, April 7) about the role of animal tests in the FDA’s medication approval process contained several misrepresentations that need to be pointed out.  

First, the statistics she provides, suggesting that animal tests negatively impact the percentage of drugs that are approved for human use, are incredibly flawed. The source of these percentages are animal rights organizations, groups that severely twisted and mischaracterized data to mislead Americans.  

Another animal rights claim echoed by Ms. Skiff is the suggestion that alternatives already exist that can replace animal studies. Here’s the reality: No computer or any other non-animal alternative is able to mimic an entire, living, breathing animal (human or otherwise) and the countless diseases that impact us. The idea is absurd. And while alternatives which are in their scientific infancy can provide some limited answers, they cannot provide them all…certainly not yet. 

Approving safe and effective medications for ourselves and our loved ones is serious business. Therefore, we need to be truthful with one another about what is currently possible and what is not.  


Jim Newman  

Communications Director  

Americans for Medical Progress  

Washington, D.C. 


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