Do 9 out of 10 drugs tested on animals really fail when applied to people?

Yes, it’s true. An overwhelming majority of drugs tested on animals fail in subsequent human trials. Foes of animal research cite this fact as unimpeachable proof that biomedical research is an outdated and inaccurate practice that should be tossed into the dust bin of history. Some animal rights groups, like the Humane Society International (HSI), push this argument even further, provocatively asking if animal research is “actually holding us back from realizing the promise of 21st-century science?”

The activists are correct in stating that the failure rate is very high. But is this the entire story? Does this mean that animal research is a dead end?

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