Finally, the FDA questions animal testing

“The promising diabetes drug Galvus recently got turned back by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

About 5,500 patients had taken the medicine in clinical trials at that point, but the problem apparently wasn’t with them. The agency was worried because some monkeys who were given high doses of Galvus developed skin lesions. Humans who took normal amounts of the drug for as long as two years didn’t get the sores, but the FDA refused to approve the drug until it saw more testing in people who might be at higher risk.

The decision spotlighted an important unresolved scientific question: What do the results of animal studies really tell us about humans? That question still puzzles researchers even though guinea pigs, lab rats and their brethren have long been part of experiments.

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