Humanizing Alcohol Research in the United States
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is dedicated to improving alcohol research in the United States by changing the focus from animal experiments to human-based approaches.
Alcohol use is associated with well-known health condition and societal consequences. Effective treatment and prevention strategies are needed and can only be developed through human-relevant, ethical research.
But recent figures show that each year more than $200 million in federal funds are spent on grants that fund alcohol experiments on animals. That’s approximately $2 billion over a 10-year period. Instead, research funds need to be spent developing and testing interventions that directly address underage drinking, fetal alcohol syndrome, and other alcohol-related problems, as well as developing new human-based technologies.
In addition to animal experiments not being human-relevant, animals used in research frequently suffer and most are killed. Research funding organizations and research facilities recognize the need to minimize animal use and to use nonanimal methods. A shift from animal experiments toward methods that focus directly on human disease would benefit the scientific community as well as public health.
The Physicians Committee is dedicated to changing the approach to alcohol-related research in the United States. This means redirecting federal support toward proven methods that prevent and treat alcohol abuse/alcoholism and funding long-term clinical trials—objectives for which there is broad consensus among scientists and medical professionals. The Physicians Committee is pressing for this paradigm shift by educating scientists, collaborating with experts in the field, and working for changes in federal-funding policies.