This Aug. 2, 2018, file photo shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration building behind FDA logos at a bus stop on the agency's campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. Credit: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

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Kudos to U.S. Sen. Angus King, and also to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, for seeking to reform a broken drug development process overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

These lawmakers know that we pay too much for drugs and wait too long for them – as long as 15 years for a new drug to come to market.

What’s more, adverse reactions to drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.

One reason: the federal government mandates years of animal testing before drugs go to human clinical trials. But the reality is, animal tests are not very predictive of the human response to drugs, failing to translate in more than 90 percent of cases.

When we use 21st-century, human-biology-based methods, we can screen drugs more carefully for safety and effectiveness. Maine’s senators have co-sponsored the  FDA Modernization Act, S. 2952, to do just that.

I applaud them for fighting for patients and ending needless and inaccurate animal testing in favor of 21st-century science.

Gina Garey

Maine state director

Animal Wellness Action