profession

NIH will retire most research chimpanzees

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 8, 2013

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

The National Institutes of Health announced in June that it will retire all but 50 chimpanzees to sanctuaries where they will not be used for scientific or medical research. The move comes in response to a December 2011 Institute of Medicine report that said most biomedical research involving chimpanzees is unnecessary and ethically problematic. The IOM made exceptions for certain kinds of research involving monoclonal antibody therapies that might be used to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis (link).

“Americans have benefited greatly from the chimpanzees’ service to biomedical research, but new scientific methods and technologies have rendered their use in research largely unnecessary,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, MPH. “Their likeness to humans has made them uniquely valuable for certain types of research, but also demands greater justification for their use. After extensive consideration with the expert guidance of many, I am confident that greatly reducing their use in biomedical research is scientifically sound and the right thing to do.”

The NIH said the chimpanzees it plans to retain will not be bred. More than 300 other chimps will be sent to sanctuaries over the next several years after some legal and financial hurdles are overcome, the agency said. Current projects using chimpanzees will be wound down “in a way that preserves the research and minimizes the impact on the animals.” A panel will be established to review whether projects proposing to use chimps as research subjects pass scientific and ethical muster.

Back to top


ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE


Featured
Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


Read story

Goodbye

American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story