The Study

Mice Are Not People: Why The Most Important Studies Done With Them Ultimately Fail In Humans

Pharmaceutical studies are among the most demanding scientific investigations because the results can be a matter of life or death. Astonishingly, 92% of drugs deemed safe and effective in animals, fail when tested in humans.

The murine model — mostly mice and sometimes rats — is invaluable in the preliminary stages of investigating pharmaceuticals and toxic chemicals. However, when the ultimate decision needs to be made — such as approving a drug for use — only human experimental subjects will suffice. In many other types of studies, human tests are vital, but cannot be performed for ethical reasons.

But when ethical and practical concerns can be accommodated, humans are the gold standard. And when that gold standard is used, it surpasses murine test results about 90% of the time.

Here is some background on how rats became star test subjects: Rats are Not Little People — But Science Assumes That They Are.

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