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A coalition of doctors and scientists has filed a petition with FDA requesting that drugs be tested among humans, rather than animals, where feasible.
Until now, many of our drugs have been approved based on clinical trials done in animals. Now an international coalition of more than 100 doctors, scientists, and animal lovers has filed a petition with the FDA to require the use of human-based testing methods in place of animal testing when they exist. The coalition believes that many drugs, which appeared safe and effective when tested in animals, have hurt patients when administered. Examples the Mandatory Alternatives Petition, or MAP, cited include Merck's Vioxx (rofecoxib), tested in mice, and Merck's HIV vaccine, tested in monkeys. The petitioners added that Europe requires the use of non-animal testing methods when available, so the United States should too. If the FDA does not act within six months, the petitioners said they might take further steps, such as legal action. For more information, contact Jeanne S. McVey, media relations manager for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, at (202) 686-2210, ext. 316.