U.S. FDA Redesigning their Research Labs for Modern, Non-Animal Based Alternatives

Image by Esi Grünhagen from Pixabay

Given the kind of direction science is taking as reflected in this article, the new St. Paul’s hospital building set to be built in Vancouver should be geared toward proactively planning for new methods and ditch the outdated animal labs it is set to include.

This is big! Last week the House Health Subcommittee took a huge step towards passing the FDA Modernization Act, which would end FDA’s animal testing requirement, by voting 30 – 0 on May 11 to pass a legislative package that includes the Act.

This move built on events from the prior week when on May 5, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee included the bill as a rider to a broader legislative package (H.R. 7667). That package is part of the required five-year renewal for FDA’s funding structure.

What this means is that the bill is on a fast track for approval. The focus shifts next to the Senate, which is expected to introduce parallel legislation very soon.

Perhaps equally exciting to the advancement of the FDA Modernization Act is the agency’s commitment to reducing animals in drug testing. FDA’s proposed budget of $12.5 million for alternatives to animal tests in 2023 includes an increase of $5 million from the previous year.

As stated in its detailed budget proposal: “The FY 2023 Budget includes $5.0 million in new funding to implement a cross-agency New Alternative Methods Program to spur the adoption of new alternative methods for regulatory use that can replace, reduce and refine animal testing (the 3Rs), and improve predictivity of nonclinical testing to streamline the development of FDA-regulated products and bring them to US public and patients more rapidly and more efficiently while assuring they are safe, effective, and that patients can depend on them.”

Since starting CAARE in 2014 has written consistently about how FDA’s requirement is a hindrance to allowing new methods to supersede animal testing. It looks like we’re on the brink of a new era where that requirement will be ended.

This is really a breakthrough. The bill stands a good chance of enactment in the next few months, and with that, the end of an outdated paradigm that mandates drug testing on animals.

While it won’t end FDA’s animal testing, companies that now want to develop drugs using non-animal methods can do so and won’t have to resort to compulsory cruel animal testing to comply with the FDA.

Though the final outcome has yet to be determined, we are excited that the current trajectory portends a groundbreaking outcome.

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If you haven’t already, please ask your lawmakers in Congress to support the FDA Modernization Act!

From E-mail Communication by caare: Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research and Experimentation, May 16, 2022.