Letters Animal testing

Studies in animals should be more like those in humans

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39115.419236.1F (Published 08 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:274
  1. Alexander S D Spiers, retired professor of medicine
  1. 1Cookham Dean, Berkshire spiersuk@btinternet.com

    The settings of animal studies are very different from those of therapeutic studies in human patients.1 They need to be more similar.

    In clinical studies a human subjects committee must approve the methods of the study, determining that it is of sufficient power to produce a meaningful result and that the risk:benefit ratio is acceptable. There should be animal subject committees similarly to scrutinise drug trials in animals. The task of such committees would be to assess sample size, randomisation of treatments, blinding of observers, selection of animal subjects, statistical methods, and elimination of biases that may be introduced by the pharmaceutical company that sponsors the work.


    • Competing interests: None declared.


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