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New Drug Reseach And Development In America

2639 words - 11 pages

Every day the search is on to develop new drugs to combat serious diseases and disorders like cancer and depression. For many of these new drugs for diseases such as cancer, pharmaceutical companies spend around one billion dollars on research and development (Russell 23). Once a drug is developed in a lab, a lot of research needs to be conducted in real life scenarios to determine if the drug will work as it is designed. The most effective way to get accurate information is to run experiments to learn how the drug actually works on its designed target; which are, in many cases, humans. As brilliantly put by Jan Russell, “I think of these volunteers who take part in clinical trials as the good rats- subjects in the great experiment to get new drugs and treatments out of the research lab and onto the market…” (23) Without these volunteers, scientists would not know nearly as much about how drugs work in the human body as they do today. By the end of the experiments, the researcher’s goal is to have their drug get approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and out to the public market. The processes currently set in place to get a new drug approved by the FDA are completed using ethical techniques, are designed with the safety of the test participants in mind, and are effective in determining if a drug is suitable to go out to the market.
Once researchers have come up with a drug in a lab, they need to test it out and see how it works in a living system. To accomplish this, researchers conduct animal studies in which the drugs are tested on laboratory bred animals. In order to test on these animals, the researchers need to use ethical guidelines. Before the testing begins, the testing procedure is sent off to the Animal Research Ethics Committee. The members of this committee include people such as veterinarians, scientists, and even regular, off the street people who decide if the testing will be done in an ethical manner (Ng 131). The most common types of animals tested upon are mice and rats that are bred in controlled environments to make sure they stay free of any disease or contaminant that could potentially hinder results (Ng 130). In case a drug ends up being lethal to the animals, the number of animals tested upon are minimized to only those that are absolutely necessary to get the data needed (APhA 36).
Some people may argue that using animals for drug testing purposes is not important because it does not effectively show how a drug will act in humans. Those people would be partially right. In past years, potential new drugs that never made it past clinical trial phases I and II failed due to that fact that the data gathered from the animal models did not fully represent human body systems (Ng 130). However, the researcher’s purpose for testing on animals is not used to prove whether or not a certain drug will work in humans; in fact, it cannot prove the effectiveness or safety of a drug in humans at all. Researchers use...

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