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'The animal testing regime... is utterly futile'

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins

Chairman of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence

'The animal testing regime... is utterly futile' 2004

 For years this quote has been used by anti-vivisection groups as an example of a prominent member of the medical community discrediting the value of animal research.  However, correspondance and further quotes from Prof Rawlins show that what he said had been taken out of context.

19 Feb 2006:

"The quote comes from a remark I made at a meeting at Chatham House about 2 years or so ago.  I was talking about carcinogenicity studies.  What I said was that long-term carcinogenicity studies with known genotoxic compounds, or compounds that produced hyperplasia in chronic toxicity tests, were largely futile!"

"Animal studies play an essential role in the discovery and development of new medicines.  Without them new treatments for human disease would not be found; and the safety of patients would be very seriously compromised.  The notion that animal studies are "futile" is utterly wrong."

"As a clinical investigator, there is no way I would be prepared to investigate new active substances in either volunteers or patients without essential information from studies in animals."

There is also a good run down of the dubious basis of these claims at:

Last edited: 27 August 2014 06:08

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