I am pleased to see the FT bringing the important matter of animal testing to the forefront of mainstream news. The article entitled “A world without animal testing” (Big Read, August 15) describes an extremely important aspect of animal testing currently implemented in the process of drug development, something which campaigners sometimes refer to as “animal sacrifice”.
While progress is certainly being made, your article still misses the mark somewhat by avoiding the ethics of this issue. From a pharmaceutical perspective, one cannot allow oneself to remain ignorant of what is going on in the belief that it is justified because it is necessary in seeking cures for disease. Even if companies are abiding by the regulatory standards, they cannot ignore the harm they do to animals. This is a question of ethics.
This is not to forget that there is a huge financial burden imposed by using imperfect models for animal testing, which can close down entire drug development programmes.
Sandra Paulina Smieszek
Head of Genetics, Vanda Pharmaceuticals
Washington, DC, US
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