(CNS News) – The FDA Modernization Act 2.0, sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), unanimously passed in the Senate on Sept. 29. The bill, if it becomes law, will end an FDA mandate where experimental drugs must be tested on animals prior to humans in clinical trials.
The bill does not ban animal testing in its entirety, but it does give drug sponsors the option to use alternative methods of testing that are morally and scientifically superior.
In a press release, Paul said, “The FDA Modernization Act 2.0 will accelerate innovation and get safer, more effective drugs to market more quickly by cutting red tape that is not supported by current science, and I’m proud to have led the charge.”
“The passage of this bipartisan bill is a step toward ending the needless suffering and death of animal test subjects – which I’m glad both Republicans and Democrats can agree needs to end,” said the senator.
Senator Booker stated, “The passage of my bill will avoid the needless suffering of countless animals, now that experimental drug testing can be done with modern non-animal alternatives that are more scientifically relevant. This legislation brings us one step closer to eliminating the cruel practice of unnecessary animal testing.”
Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Angus King (D-Maine), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) cosponsored the bill, which will now go to the U.S House of Representatives.
The bill was crafted in response to the U.S. Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which Congress passed in 1938, mandating animal toxicity testing. Over the decades, however, science and data have shown that product animal testing does not always replicate the potential toxic responses in humans.
Upon the Senate passing the FDA Modernization Act 2.0, Paul said the U.S. Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed when the only testing methods available were animal trials or human trials. In modern day, statistics show that animal testing is a flawed system, with over 50% of drugs that pass animal trials failing in human clinical trials. Meanwhile, animal testing can be twice as expensive than non-animal alternatives.
Paul remarked, “It’s often said, that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
“We have mandated animal testing for the last 84 years and it met slower approval for promising drugs and cures,” he added. “The time has come for the law to finally catch up with the science. I’m glad the Senate has acted and I hope the House of Representatives will now move quickly to pass this measure into law.”