I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor The Humane Research and Testing Act of 2020 (H.R. 8633) introduced by Representatives Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL).
This bipartisan bill will take essential steps towards reducing and replacing animal experimentation by establishing the National Center for Alternatives to Animals in Research and Testing (Center) under the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
There is widespread agreement among scientists and regulatory agencies that animal models are poor predictors of the human response with over 90% of new candidate drugs never making it to market. This amounts to billions of dollars lost each year. One analysis from 2015 reported that over $28 billion is spent on preclinical research every year, the vast majority of which is conducted using animals.
NIH was mandated to reduce animal testing in 1993 under the NIH Revitalization Act (Public Law 103-43) but unfortunately, little progress has been made. H.R. 8633 will amend the Revitalization Act, requiring the NIH to incentivize, fund and develop non-animal methods of research through the establishment of the Center.
Additionally, the bill mandates federally funded researchers to track all vertebrate animals used in experiments so that progress at reducing these numbers can be effectively planned and measured.
Animal research is not just a growing ethical concern among the public, it is a hindrance to medical advancement. Replacing outdated and inhumane animal experiments with superior, human-relevant methods is imperative. I hope you will co-sponsor this ground-breaking legislation and look forward to your reply on this important issue.