The world’s fourth-largest pharmaceutical company, Merck, recently announced it will end biomedical research on chimpanzees.
The decision is in line with recent conclusions of the Institute of Medicine, NIH’s decision to stop funding the use of chimpanzees and retire nearly 90% of its own chimpanzees, and NEAVS’ series of scientific papers showing how unnecessary and unproductive the use of chimpanzees for human research is.
The move continues a trend away from using chimpanzees set in motion by NEAVS’ Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories campaign and the work of other groups, started nearly a decade ago. We hope this is the beginning of Merck and others committing to replacing all animals use with scientifically better and more humane alternatives.
Merck is the largest of a group of some 20 companies who have made similar pledges, including two other top 10 firms: GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca (in addition to these 20, there are others who at this point prefer to remain unnamed). As NIH funding for chimpanzee research ends, so too will private research's desire to use or house them.
Please join us and thank Merck Chairman, President, and CEO Kenneth Carleton Frazier for this crucial step forward for animals in labs with this form! As we watch the chimpanzee research industry crumble as a result of the first non-human animal being granted protections from research, similar arguments regarding the inhumaneness, unjustifiable ethics, and bad science of animal use for purported human health can now be made. This will benefit all animals in labs, as well as humans awaiting the medical advances animal use has historically stalled and derailed.
If you prefer, you can use the language below and send to this address:
Kenneth C. Frazier
One Merck Drive
P.O. Box 100
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-0100
Dear Mr. Frazier,
I am extremely grateful for Merck’s recent decision to end the use of chimpanzees in its research and testing.
With recent reports and decisions, the NIH and the IOM have acknowledged what science has known for years – chimpanzees are not viable models for studying human disease. The need for funding or keeping chimpanzees for research has come to the end, and your decision to end their use has set an important example for other companies to follow.
Again, please accept my thanks for your scientifically and ethically sound, forward-thinking policy change.