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Non-Human Primates Should be Used in Medical Testing

Non-Human Primates Should be Used in Medical Testing


Each year approximately 100,000 apes and monkeys are used for biomedical research globally. They possess similar genetics as human beings, thus, it makes them suitable candidates to conduct medical tests for the safety of new drugs as well as studying various infectious diseases. In other words, non-human primates are considered to be alternatives in medical testing and researching. Use of non-human primates for the past years have enabled scientist to come up with essential findings in medicine and biology (Public Health, 2009). Furthermore, non-human primates are used mostly for safety testing of devices, pharmaceutical products and basic research in biology. In addition, non-human primates are used to research as well as develop devices and clinical products.

Most of the primates that are used for scientific experimentations are normally born and bred in captivity for several generations. Those one that are bred in captivity tend to give reliable and accurate data, therefore, wild non-human primates are rarely used for research but are required to avoid inbreeding of the stocks held in captivity. The number of non-human primates used in different nations tends to vary (David, 2006). Some nations have outlawed the use of non-human primates for medical testing while others like United States have legalized it. The essay paper aims at explaining reasons why non-human primates should be used in medical testing.

Reasons Why Non-Human Primates are Desirable in Medical Testing

Before any pharmaceutical products reach the end user, it is needful to test their safety. Therefore, preliminary tests should be conducted on non-human primates, such as apes or monkeys. The intention of these experiments is to safeguard the health of consumers in the long-term. For example, primates are required to test particular drugs that have potential effects on female and male genital organs, eyes among other things since they are the only mammals that possess similar physiological traits to human beings (Public Health, 2009). As a result, non-human primates serve as the best candidates for testing new drugs in order to determine whether they are working as expected. Further, health risks associated with drugs might be determined through tests on primates. Again, due to non-human primates eing close to people in terms of their anatomy or in the manner they tend to respond to various drugs they are preferred to determine safety of numerous drugs.

Non-human primates are used in researches of infectious diseases and vaccines. Primates are the most suitable animal alternative since their immune system tend to be similar to that of human beings. Non-human primates are the only one that can be used to develop vaccines, such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis C (Public Health, 2009). In addition, primates might be required in quick detection of new diseases that will probably affect huge number of the world population. This would ensure that the new disease does not spread across several geographical areas.

For example, some studies on non-human primates were utilized successfully to prevent an epidemic spread of SARS. In other words, vaccines that have been developed for the past years have been through testing on primates. Before a new vaccine is being administered on human beings, its efficacy is first tested on non-human primates (Ray & Jean, 2010). For most of infections, primates tend to be the only species susceptible to infectious agent and, therefore, can only be tested on these species.                      

Non-human primates tend to play an exceptional role in brain research since they are the only species that almost meet the complexity of human brain. Therefore, primates might be used to study the human brains effectively. Brain injuries as well as diseases like epilepsy and damage of blood vessels can now be easily researched through use of non-human primates. Psychological testing is also possible through use of primates in such areas as learning.

Also, studying genetic disorder has been a reality through use of non-human primates. Non-human primates have also been used to research and test the main leading killers, i.e. cancer stroke and heart disease (David, 2006). Further, non-human primates are considered to be important since they have led to medical advances, such as life support systems used for premature new born and deep brain simulation for Parkinson’s diseases. Medical testing in non-human primates have made it possible to treat conditions that range from Alzheimer to Schizophrenia and understanding the brain better.

Non-human primates are required whenever no alternatives are available for medical testing. Therefore, primates remain the only best option in some situations, such as development of new vaccines and drugs. Use of primates is a mean of expanding knowledge on the constantly changing society needs (Ray & Jean, 2010). Medical testing on non-human primates enables doctors to find the suitable treatment, and cures for numerous ailments and diseases.

For that reason, these medical testing should not be considered unnecessary and cruel since they tend to save human beings in many ways (New Internationalist Magazine, 2011).

Medical test on non-human primates are essential in advancing and improving human beings health. Thus, primates should be used in all capacities of medical testing before being used on humans. Again, there exists no alternative approach for medical testing that is accurate and reliable apart from non-human primates (New Internationalist Magazine, 2011). Moreover, without use of primates in medical testing it would hamper efforts of scientists mostly in direct development of new drugs and treatments. Consequently, the main aim of using medical testing in non-human primates is to directly or indirectly improve health of human beings.

In conclusion, non-human primates have played a great role in advancing human health worldwide. Thus, primate testing should be considered as the best alternative in testing drugs’ safety. Primates have proven to be reliable models for medical testing before being administered to human beings. Studying human diseases have become easier through use of primates since they have a similar genetically make up to some extent. Through medical testing in non-human primates, scientists have been able to come up with new vaccines and drugs. Again, medical treatments have been achieved through testing on primates for the past decades. Scientists through medical testing in primates have been able to expand their knowledge in the medicine discipline. Without use of primates scientists will know less about how human nervous systems work and how to treat them. Human harm is minimized through medical testing in primates and individual lives are saved since the drugs tend to be saving as well as enhancing quality of people’s life.



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