(RoyalPatriot.com )- The National Institutes of Health has tested an experimental treatment for cocaine addicts by injecting the drug and cocaine into beagle puppies, according to a watchdog group.
The White Coat Waste Project, a group that seeks to stop taxpayer-funded experiments on animals, discovered details of the $2 million taxpayer-funded “Coke Hounds” experiment within documents it obtained under an open records request.
According to the Waste Project, six-month-old beagle pups were outfitted in jackets that injected them with cocaine then the beagles were fed the experimental drug. The dogs were “dosed with cocaine again and again for months,” according to the Waste Project.
Researchers then filmed the puppies to detect any adverse reactions between the drugs. They also operated on the dogs, implanting a “telemetry unit” to monitor vital signs. At the end of the tests, the dogs were either euthanized or “recycled” for other experiments.
The Waste Project said the “Coke Hounds” experiment was conducted from November 2020 until April 2021 and again from May 2021 to September 2021.
Devin Murphy, the communications manager at the Waste Project said taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for “wasteful and cruel” experiments like this “just to fulfill burdensome and outdated FDA red tape.”
The experiments were conducted by SRI International, a California-based research firm, and funded by the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse to find treatments for “cocaine use disorder.”
The NIDA defended the experiments, arguing that the “sole purpose” of the research is to ensure new medication is safe for the people “seeking treatment for cocaine use disorder” who might resume cocaine use while under treatment.
The White Coat Waste Project maintains that there are alternatives to using dogs for testing to receive FDA approval, but blames researchers’ unwillingness to seek those alternatives on “institutional inertia.” It also contends that most of the drugs tested on animals are ultimately denied approval by the FDA.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse argues that grant applications that propose the use of animals for testing face a “rigorous review process.”