THE broad welcome given to the decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to recommend Herceptin is a measure of how much we value medical advance.

Thanks to this drug, thousands of women with breast cancer have a much-improved prognosis.

The same can be said for many of the other drugs which we now take for granted, from Ventolin for asthma to statins for cholesterol.

Behind these drugs are years, perhaps even decades of research in labs across the UK and the rest of the world. And a small part of that research is likely to have involved the use of animals.

Research using animals is a vital part of finding cures and treatments for the diseases that continue to elude us, diseases like Alzheimers, cancer and HIV/Aids which blight millions of people.

Without the continuation of animal studies, those cures and treatments will remain elusive. If you support medical advances like herceptin, which was researched using monkeys and mice, you should join over 20,000 others, including the Prime Minister, in signing the People's Petition at JO TANNER, Chief Executive, Coalition for Medical Progress, Waterloo Business Centre, 117 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UL .