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Boyle, Perry & Dean Introduce Animal Testing Alternatives Legislation

November 12, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), Congressman Scott Perry (PA-10) and Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04) introduced the bipartisan Alternatives to Animals for Regulatory Fairness (AARF) Act to modernize the drug approval process. The AARF Act ensures that pharmaceutical companies are allowed to use high-tech and humane alternatives to outdated testing on dogs and other animals to fulfill Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory requirements.

"Science has come a long way and there are now better ways to assess the safety of drugs than conducting deadly experiments on puppies. Current law fails to account for newer, modern approaches to drug development that do not involve testing on dogs or other animals,” said Congressman Boyle. “I am proud to introduce the Alternatives to Animals for Regulatory Fairness Act to modernize FDA rules to allow the use of more humane, economical, and effective testing alternatives. Especially when animal tests often poorly predict human outcomes, there is no reason we need to require them.”

“We applaud Reps. Brendan Boyle, Scott Perry and Madeleine Dean for introducing the AARF Act to save dogs and other animals from wasteful and cruel government-mandated experiments, allow drug makers to avoid needless animal testing, and get consumers safe drugs more quickly and inexpensively, a call with particular urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy at taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project.  

"While other agencies in the FDA's regulatory ecosystem have aggressively sought to leverage technological advances to eliminate their reliance on animal testing, the FDA lags behind them, the broader science community, and the American public, said Mihael H. Polymeropoulos, M.D., President & CEO, Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. “By not changing its outmoded approach of forcing companies to conduct unnecessary tests on dogs, the FDA not only misses the opportunity to improve safety, but also pointlessly impedes the delivery of innovative new drugs to patients who need them."

Currently, the FDA requires companies to subject thousands of dogs and other animals each year to painful and inaccurate drug safety tests, even though government scientists acknowledge that over 90 percent of drugs that pass these animal tests fail in humans because they’re ineffective or harmful. More effective and humane alternatives are available, including organs-on-chips technology being developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. A June 2020 national poll of 1,000 Americans conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies found that two-thirds of respondents want the FDA to allow drug companies to use modern alternatives to animal tests.