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April 4, 1990

Animals in Research: The American Medical Association's Position

Author Affiliations

Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn, NY

JAMA. 1990;263(13):1766. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440130046018

To the Editor.—  Rather than adopting a rigorous scientific approach, the American Medical Association continues its often hysterical "responsible for every medical breakthrough" defense of animal research. To deny that the results of animal research are all too often detrimental to humans, to deny as well that there is any abuse of laboratory animals, is both unscientific and unethical.Even more worrisome is your apparent glossing over of medications developed and tested in animals that have proved toxic and fatal to humans. A recent example would be flecainide. Despite 10 years of the most sophisticated animal research, which showed both safety and efficacy, the drug may have caused as many as 3000 fatalities.1Moreover, animal research is often responsible for the loss or unacceptable delay of worthy therapies. Based on the published results of 5 years of animal research, the immunomodulator FK506 was thought to be too toxic