Friday, May 13, 2011

THE ORIGINAL Paws for Thought. FFF55

My FFF55 from last week has miraculously reappeared.........

This time you have the politics too!  Feel free to ignore it all. I just thought I should let it out of cyber prison.

Ninety two per cent of medicines that enter human testing do not work, though animal tests were successful. Thalidomide was passed as safe. Aspirin kills cats (and would be banned if it was new today). Yet some scientists insist that poisoning millions of rodents each year is the way ahead. Sadly, this is not fiction.


If you're not interested in the politics you can miss out this central bit

This has come out of something that I've been working on for my day job this week. Few people realise that the reason drugs cost so much to develop is because so much testing of potential treatments is carried out on animals, which do not have the same physiological reactions as humans.

In the past, animal tests were the best we had. These days there are so many other testing strategies based on human cells and tissues (often waste material from surgery) but the law makers and sponsors still support animal tests.

Some figures:  Of 10,000 substances that are potential drug candidates (which will undergo chemical tests and computer modelling as a first stage) around 250 will show enough promise to be tested on animals. Of those 250, only 10 will make it to human trials.  And, if we're lucky, just one will be successful.


This Friday FlashFiction 55 is a response to the weekly challenge set by The G-Man at Mister Knowitall's Blog. Go see what other people have written this week.

1 comment:

snafu said...

You know my comment, since I visited this post in my time machine and made a comment before you posted it. Guinea pigs die if given penicillin and yet we take the name for test subject from them because they are supposed to respond so closely to humans.
Have you ever read Chimera by Stephen Gallagher? It covers this subject very sympathetically.