Firstly, to anyone who posted saying we should be testing drugs and new pharmaceutical agents on humans that volunteer, get paid, or are in the prison system, I would like to say that you are very misinformed. To use volunteers or paid “volunteers” in a clinical study will cause bias in the results found. More than a third of the volunteers would be subjected to placebo effects from those drugs and would skew the results. To those saying we should use prisoners, one must consider the fact that the prisoners live in prisons and that the environment they live in will affect the way the drug performs. As well, any study based off of prisoners is not generalizeable to the public also because of a different environment and other factors.
To everyone asking for animal testing to be stopped, I would like to point out that the FDA requires pharmaceutical companies to present results on efficacy and safety based off of animal data. This requirement arose from two separate incidences, the first in 1938 when sulfonamides were prepared as a solution and sold as ‘Elixir sulanilamide’, the solvent for this solution turned out to be toxic and resulted in the deaths of roughly 100 people. The second incidence, which I believe most people would know of, is the drug thalidomide. First prescribed to combat morning sickness, it turned out that thalidomide caused severe birth defects. These birth defects now affect several thousand people worldwide. Every drug any of you have ever taken has been through this same process. It is a government mandated law to test new drugs on animals before further testing them on humans.
To those who post comments saying that animals are genetically different then humans and that testing in animals is pointless and useless, you are misinformed. Yes, humans and animals are genetically different, however, we do have in common large portions of DNA. Many of the genes that govern everything in our bodies are interchangeable with the genes from animals. Pigs and humans are remarkably similar, their soft tissues and gross anatomy are very similar to those of humans.
Article source: PETA Action Alerts