Animal tests not reliable?

Drug tests on animals don't always produce reliable findings, says a UK study in the new issue of the British Medical Journal.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reviewed a number of human and animal studies of drug treatments for six conditions and found little consistent agreement between the findings of the human and animal trials, BBC News reported.

Study leader Professor Ian Roberts said he and his colleagues found that some animal studies are poorly conducted, such as involving too few animals, while others are affected by design or publication biases.

He suggested that animal experiments could be designed to better reflect human experience. Roberts also said animal testing is not relevant in some areas of drug research, BBC News reported.

"This is all about the predictive value of animal experiments. The debate over this issue is really quite hysterical. At the moment, there is too much emotion and not much science," Roberts noted. "Anti-vivisectionists say animal testing is of no use at all, and those who do them say we would have no safe and effective treatments if we didn't." – (HealthDayNews)

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December 2006

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