Safer Medicines - putting patient safety first

Putting patient safety first

About Us

Patrons: Sir David Amess MPCaroline Lucas MPPaul Flynn MPMat FraserCarol RoyleDr James Le Fanu

Our Vision

Our vision is that scientifically valid, human-focused research will deliver safe and effective treatments for patients

Our Mission

Our mission is to make medicines safer by facilitating a transition to human-focused drug development and testing

Our Objectives

  • To promote the use of scientifically valid human-relevant methods and technologies for the development of safe and effective medicines
  • To undertake activities to support the evaluation of human-relevant methods
  • To promote regulatory acceptance and use of suitable methods

WHO we are

Safer Medicines Campaign is an independent, not-for-profit patient safety organisation of scientists and doctors with extensive expertise in drug development.  Safer Medicines Trust is a registered charity (number 1039411). We have hosted international conferences at the Royal Society and the House of Lords, showing the benefits to drug safety and medical progress offered by a focus on human, rather than animal biology. We are a founder member of the Alliance for Human Relevant Science

Meet our team

WHAT we are calling for

  • Safe and effective treatments for patients as soon as possible
  • Open discussion of the key scientific questions at the heart of this controversial issue, separately from the associated highly-charged ethical issues raised by animal testing
  • Independent scientific evaluation of the utility of animal tests for drug safety. The effectiveness of animal tests has never been measured against a panel of state-of-the-art techniques based on human biology. We propose a unique comparison between the two approaches, the case for which is compelling.

WHY we are calling for it

There is alarming evidence that animal tests fail to protect us:

  • Six young men at Northwick Park hospital were nearly killed by a drug which they were given because it had been ‘proved safe’ in monkeys
  • Arthritis drug Vioxx – the greatest drug catastrophe in history – killed up to 140,000 people after being ‘proved safe’ in animals, including monkeys
  • 95% of new drugs successful in animal studies go on to fail in clinical trials, as at Northwick Park – sometimes injuring or killing volunteers and patients
  • Extensive studies of animal tests’ ability to predict drugs’ and chemicals’ potential to cause cancer and birth defects have found them to be ineffective
  • Scientists are increasingly lamenting the failings of animal studies. Cancer Research UK acknowledges: ‘We do trials in people because animal models do not predict what will happen in humans’. See more quotes here.
  • Adverse drug reactions kill 197,000 people in the EU every year and more than 100,000 in the US. The time for action is NOW!
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