Animal Experiments - The Big Lie Lives

Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA

The Spectator magazine recently published an article which touched on animal experimentation and managed to repeat a faulty assertion which should have been buried decades ago.

The writer claimed that ‘pharmaceutical companies…are obliged to carry out testing on non-human animals prior to human clinical trials’.

This is, to put it politely, absolute bollocks.

It is a very useful myth which was created by those who are trying to protect the drug industry. And the myth has been widely spread by drug company spin doctors determined to ensure that animal experiments are continued.

I showed several decades ago that there is no law requiring drug companies to perform animal experiments.

And there is still no such law.

Drug companies are not ‘obliged’ to perform animal experiments.

They do so out of choice.

It would be stupid for there to be a law requiring drug companies to do tests on animals because I have proved many times that animal experiments are entirely worthless. I can name scores of drugs on the market which are known to cause cancer in animals but which are happily marketed for use on humans.

The truth is that drug companies do animal experiments because they provide them with a wonderful win-win situation.

If an experiment shows that the animal is unharmed by a drug then the product can be sold with the claim that it is safe for animals and therefore must be safe for humans.

But if an experiment shows that an animal is harmed by a drug then the product can be sold for humans because the drug company can, and will, say that animals are different to people – and that, therefore, unhappy results from animal experiments can safely be ignored.

Drug companies win whatever happens.

The losers are the animals who suffered unnecessarily.

And the patients who took the drugs which so often turn out to be lethal or to cause serious side effects.

Remember, one in six patients in hospital is there because they’ve been made ill by doctors prescribing drugs which were tested on animals.

Animal experiments help drug companies. But they don’t help patients.

Copyright Vernon Coleman March 2019