International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals

Alternatives To Animal Experiments Research Testing

18: Page 18

Clinical versus Basic Research

Although it may seem obvious that clinical research has the greatest potential to provide information about disease and its treatment, only one third of projects funded by the National Institutes of Health involve human subjects.(41) This is not altogether surprising because over the years scientists have greatly exaggerated the claims of "basic research", much of which involves animals, and effectively minimized the contribution of clinical investigation.

It is argued that although basic research may not have immediate clinical relevance, it is nevertheless necessary to provide the background knowledge for medical advances. But at the heart of the debate is competition over the allocation of research funds: if basic scientists can attribute most successes to laboratory work, they will naturally be at an advantage in their bid for resources. Not only that but public opposition to animal experiments has persuaded some researchers to make the astonishing claim that most, if not all, medical advances have relied on animals!


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