Americans For Medical Advancement
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (February 2014)|
Americans For Medical Advancement (AFMA) is a 501(c)(3) science-based patient advocacy organization dedicated to improving policy and decision-making regarding the use of the animal model in biomedical research and drug testing. They oppose the use of animals only as models for predicting human response. For example ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination, and toxicity), efficacy testing, and medical research where results from animal-based research are assumed predictive for humans. Scientifically, such uses are known as using animals as causal analogical models or as predictive models.
Ray Greek MD is president and, along his wife Jean Greek, a veterinarian, co-founder of AFMA. Board members include Lawrence Hansen MD, Professor of Neuroscience and Pathology, University of California, San Diego and Mark Rice MD, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida.
AFMA wants to see drugs come to market faster, safer and cheaper and want to see medical research funding directed to more relevant areas of research. As such they recommend:
- reevaluating the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and United States Environmental Protection Agency requirements for animal testing, in so far as these requirements assume that animal models predict human responses;
- that granting bodies like the National Institutes of Health stop encouraging “animal models of…” research, as this approach assumes animals are predictive models and is therefore inconsistent with current scientific knowledge.
Equally important, in their opinion, is the fact that animals can be successfully used in many other areas of science such as basic science research and comparative research. AFMA does not oppose the use of animals in research in these areas. This distinction separates them from the animal protection groups. Most organizations that oppose testing on animals do so on ethical grounds related to the suffering of animals. AFMA has a unique mission in illustrating the lack of validity in the animal model in drug testing and animal-based research for human disease. Although some supporters may be pro-animal, many are not. The unifying factor for their supporters is their argument that the animal model is not valid for predicting drug response and other features of human disease.
Critics of the group, such as the similarly named Americans for Medical Progress, dismiss it as a shell organization that "exists primarily as a website to publicize the views and promote the book" of founders Ray and Jean Greek, and assert that it ignores the significant medical advances made through animal-based research.
- For more on what AFMA stands for see website for Americans For Medical Advancement at http://www.curedisease.com
- see Animal Models in Light of Evolution by Shanks and Greek. Brown Walker 2009
- Shanks and Greek. Animal Models in Light of Evolution. BrownWalker. 2009.