The Physicians Committee

Good Science

January 2017

January 26, 2017   other


Welcome to Good Science, the Physicians Committee’s new digest covering obstacles to and advances in 21st-century technology that will improve human health.

In this “inaugural” post, Physicians Committee scientists give President Donald Trump five policy recommendations to advance human health research during his administration.

  1. Improve Medical Care for U.S. Troops by Directing the Department of Defense to Phase out Animal-Based Training 
    Outgoing Republican congressman and military physician Joe Heck has called for the U.S. military to stop shooting and stabbing animals to teach combat trauma procedures. Troops would be better served if medical personnel were trained on human-based simulators instead of goats and pigs. More >
  2. Double Down on Innovative Research Programs
    Guiding our nation’s health research to make progress on today's major challenges requires vision and creativity, and director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has been supportive of some of the most innovative programs at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, including the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening and Toxicology in the 21st Century programs. Additional investment should be directed towards similar research projects. More >
  3. Ensure 21st-Century Consumer Safety by Creating a Roadmap to Replace Animal Tests for Chemical Testing
    Testing chemicals, cosmetics, and other products using animals is cruel, and it isn't keeping us safe. Scientists have created—or are developing—advanced test methods based on human biology, but current laws and regulations across different agencies can prevent new methods from replacing the old ones. We need an authoritative, clear roadmap to coordinate multiple government and private sector efforts, streamline regulations, and save resources. More >
  4. Revolutionize Medical Research by Directing Research Funds Toward Human-Relevant Models
    We have spent trillions of dollars on cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease research, and we have not gotten our money’s worth. Research with animals—mice, rats, dogs, sheep, monkeys—doesn't translate. We need to focus this money on human-relevant research methods: clinical and epidemiological research, human cell and tissue models, and computer-driven data analysis and simulation, to understand, prevent, and cure these human diseases. More >
  5. Spur Innovation and Lower Drug Development Costs by Directing the FDA to Reform Preclinical Tests
    FDA regulations limit innovation by mandating preclinical animal tests, even where more predictive human-relevant tests exist. Industry and patients would benefit from more efficient, timely and predictive preclinical pharmaceutical tests. More >