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 Pharmaceutical/Testing Companies Among Nation’s Leaders for Federal Violations, Says Watchdog Group

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Contact: Michael Budkie 513-575-5517; 513-703-9865 (cell) 


Washington, DC – SAEN, a national research watchdog organization, has placed pharmaceutical/testing companies Merck, Covance (VA & PA), Boehringer Ingelheim (CT), SNBL (WA), and Charles River (MA) among the nation’s worst facilities for violations of federal law. 


“Drug and testing companies are violating federal law on a regular basis and endangering the health of the American People as a result,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN.  “It should surprise no one that drugs like Vioxx came out of the Merck Corporation, where federal law is broken almost every month.”


Government reports reveal that Merck violated federal law 8 times during a nine-month monitoring period, and has continued to break federal regulations since the monitoring period. 


Merck’s troubles accelerated following the monitoring period, racking up 10 IACUC violations in only 3 months.  One infraction involved an allegedly illegal surgery which drilled holes into the skull of an animal, and penetrated the brain.


Charles River violated federal law 22 times in the monitoring period, including an incident that left dozens of dogs with bleeding paws.


The SNBL lab violated federal law eight times, while killing over 20 marmosets through negligence.


Boehringer Ingelheim violated federal regulations 19 times in nine months including incidents where primates died in cage washers.


Covance labs in Pennsylvania and Virginia combined for 42 federal violations including starving dogs and denying veterinary care to animals with broken bones.


Government reports reveal that collectively drug/drug testing labs violate the Animal Welfare Act almost three times every week.  Common infractions are in the areas of inadequate veterinary care, institutional animal care & use committees, and housing/facilities/sanitation.


“Drug/testing companies violate federal laws regularly endangering human health and abusing animals,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN.  “The public has a right to know that the companies we depend on for drug safety regularly ignore government regulations.”


The government reports and ranking statistics are available upon request.



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