Skip to main content

To: Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock

Mandate better science for safer medicines

Mandate better science for safer medicines

Mat Fraser, actor and thalidomider. Safer Medicines Trust Patron.

Medicines benefit many of us but harm many others. A million people are admitted to hospital each year in the UK due to adverse drug reactions and more than 10,000 die.

Animal tests are obligatory before human clinical trials – but 9 out of 10 drugs fail in human trials, mainly for lack of effectiveness or safety, despite appearing effective and safe in animal tests.

We call on the Government to mandate the best* technologies available to improve the safety of medicines and reduce the tragic toll of adverse drug reactions.

*with evidence of their predictive value

Why is this important?

Thalidomide made animal testing a regulatory requirement for new medicines more than 50 years ago. Science has changed beyond recognition since then – but the regulations are stuck in the past.

Advanced human relevant technologies* can predict many side effects that animal tests cannot – but they are not mandatory, while animal tests are!

No other area of science still relies on the flawed methods of 50 years ago. Scientists around the world agree: we must move safety testing into the 21st century, for all our sakes.

*including ‘organs-on-a-chip’ and other 3D cell models, ethically donated ‘waste’ human tissues (with patients’ consent), computer simulations and non-invasive imaging techniques.

More information at



2020-04-07 15:47:15 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-04-07 12:01:24 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-04-07 10:45:59 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-04-07 10:27:29 +0100

10 signatures reached