From John Vibes
Animal testing has played an important role in developing treatments and vaccines for the COVID-19 coronavirus over the past few months. The demand for laboratory animals has been so overwhelming that the United States is currently facing a monkey shortage due to all testing.
Dr. Skip Bohm, associate director and chief veterinarian of the Tulane National Primate Research Center, told USA Today about the shortage.
“We were always in a state where we were always very close to production levels to meet research needs, and that has been the status for several years. When the COVID pandemic broke out, that only pushed us further, ”said Bohm.
Bohm said monkeys are needed for research because it is not possible to use human volunteers at an early stage. The rhesus monkeys have genetics very similar to humans, and scientists are also very familiar with how their immune systems work.
"We all hope there will be a day when we don't have to use animals in research, but right now … not all people are going to submit an exam where they get regular x-rays, regular CT scans, or blood tests" said Bohm.
However, critics of animal testing say that it is mostly useless and only leads to successful drug development in about 10% of cases.
A 2014 review published in the British Medical Journal found that “Even the most promising results from animal research often fail in human studies and are rarely translated into clinical practice. For example, one study found that less than 10% of promising basic research discoveries within 20 years are routinely used clinically. "
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) admits that 95% of all drugs shown to be safe and effective in animal studies actually fail in human studies because they are either ineffective or dangerous.
According to the NIH website
Therapeutic development is an expensive, complex, and time-consuming process. The average time from discovery of the target to approval of a new drug is around 14 years. The failure rate during this process exceeds 95 percent, and the cost per successful drug can be $ 1 billion or more.
Source: Truth Theory
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John Vibes is a writer and journalist who is particularly interested in counterculture and focuses on solution-oriented approaches to social problems. He also hosts the Free Your Mind conference and the Free Thought Project podcast. Read more stories from John Vibes