'Laura lives today because of the drugs she gets'

December 11, 1998

Laura Cowell is 13. She has cystic fibrosis and relies on a daily cocktail of up to 70 drugs. Her future depends on drugs developed on animals.

"She lives today because of the drugs she gets," explained her mother Vicky Cowell. "When Laura was born, the prognosis was not good, but we are hopeful today that she can live to be a young woman.

"We need to test drugs before they go into humans," she explained. "Would anyone want to take something that had not been tested?" She called those threatening the lives of scientists "a lunatic fringe". "Perhaps they have not been ill," she suggested. "There's so much incorrect propaganda out there. I can understand it's an emotive issue. But I have been around labs, and I am amazed how well animals are treated."

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