Animal tests vital

April 7, 2006

Phillip Duckworth has an interesting - if mistaken - take on the tragic events at a research unit at Northwick Park Hospital (Letters, March 31).

That this is the first time such an adverse reaction has occurred in a phase one clinical trial of a drug on humans proves, rather than disproves, that toxicology tests in animals are a vital part of drug and therapeutic development.

Without such tests, many more clinical trial volunteers could experience the violent reactions we have seen in these six men.

What Duckworth's somewhat kneejerk reaction shows is that we need a rational debate on the issue of animals in medical research that is informed by fact rather than by sensationalist propaganda.

Jo Tanner
Chief executive
Coalition for Medical Progress London

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