Merck Pledges to End the Use of Chimpanzees in Biomedical Research
NAVS is pleased to announce that pharmaceutical giant Merck has decided to no longer use chimpanzees in biomedical research due to the availability of alternatives. In doing so, the company will join over twenty other companies and contract organizations who have already made this important commitment.
As you know, the Institute of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently reviewed the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research and concluded that most research conducted on chimpanzees is unnecessary and should be stopped. As a result, the NIH plans to permanently retire the majority of government-owned chimpanzees to sanctuary and reduce the use of chimpanzees in NIH-supported research. The decision made by the NIH does not apply to private facilities, so we are pleased to see that Merck agrees that the use of chimpanzees is not necessary to advance science and has agreed to stop using chimpanzees for research purposes.
The company’s released the following official statement on the matter:
Merck has voluntarily made the decision not to use chimpanzees in biomedical research in the foreseeable future or to directly or indirectly fund their use in studies by external research partners. Recent scientific advances now allow researcher to use alternative methodologies that in many circumstances, replace the need for chimpanzees in biomedical research.
While this is an important victory for chimpanzees, Merck’s official statement indicates that they plan to continue using animals in the development of pharmaceuticals. It is our hope that the continued development of non-animal alternative methods will replace the use of all animals in the drug development process.