Animal testing has never really worked. Animal tests proved penicillin deadly, strychnine safe and aspirin dangerous.
In fact, 90 percent of medications approved for human use after animal testing later proved ineffective or harmful to humans in clinical trials. It is humbling to realize that the flipping of a coin would have proved five times more accurate and much cheaper.
Animal testing has never worked perfectly. I can't find citations for your claims about those three drugs, (although I happen to know that the first use of penicillin was in mice injected with staphylococcus - it saved the mice and led to a very rapid research programme that culminated in large-scale production and saving many thousands of soldiers' lives in WWII, and ultimately in all the antibiotics we rely on today) but I'll cheerfully concede that drug tests in animals can give misleading results. A lot of this is arguably because the results are misinterpreted, but there's no denying that our biology differs in various ways. Some of those differences are well-understood, others occasionally take us by surprise.
Your other point is an obvious statistical fallacy. It may be true that 90% of trials fail post animal testing. What's important to know is how many unnecessary trials of useless dugs have been prevented. Without animal testing, instead of 90% of human trials failing the number would be more like 99.999% failure. Even ignoring the astronomical costs of these trials (in terms of both money spent and extra lives lost while waiting for a cure), while some of these failures would be benign others would visit terrible side-effects on the volunteers.
Animal-tested drugs have killed, disabled or harmed millions of people and lead to costly delays as well.
Probably true. However, animal-tested drugs have also saved many, many more. Gigantic net benefit. As a side note, the eradication of smallpox directly killed thousands of people, through reaction to the vaccine (the earlier versions were less safe than the modern versions). But we still say it was a good thing, because it has saved many millions more. Like it or not, public health is a numbers game, where all we can do is shoot for the best net benefit.
We have spent billions of dollars to cure cancer in mice, but so far have failed to replicate human cancer in any animal, let alone close in on a cure. All but a very few diseases are species-unique, and the only efficient and effective way to discover cures and create vaccines is through the use of the same species cells, tissues and organs.
Cancer is, at best, a family of diseases, not a single disease. There is not and will never be a single "cure for cancer". There are, however, excellent treatments for certain kinds of cancer, many of which (chemodrugs and oncolyic viruses) could not exist without extensive work in animal models. Animal models teach us a huge amount about cancer development and progression, the tumour micro-environment, interactions with the immune system, the kinetics and diffusion properties of drugs, etc. You can join the argument that the data we get isn't perfect, but everyone involved already knows this. The counter-argument it that we have a choice between this and nothing at all.
"Efficient" and "effecive" might be true if we had an unlimited supply of human tissues, organs and whole people to experiment with. Sadly, the ethics board in my university are all up-tight and like to see that *something* living can tolerate and show benefit from the treatment before we start injecting random chemicals into cancer patients. Killjoys, I know.
The use of animals as models for the development of human medications and disease almost always fails, simply because humans and animals have different physiologies.
Different in some ways, very, very similar in others. The trick is to work out which ones are which, and the people running multi-$million research institutions are often pretty smart. Not perfect, but this objection is something that has occurred to them and that they strive to take into account.
yet you can't visit a laboratory and see how the government has spent your money.
Largely because they're worried about the constant stream of protesters and/or random uninformed members of the public constantly disrupting and occasionally destroying the work in progress. A possible additional factor is that animal labs are generally run as quarrantine zones to prevent infections getting into the stocks. A stream of untrained people, even with the best of intentions, would make contamination rates skyrocket. For what I imagine are broadly similar reasons, there are all sorts of places I'm not allowed to go to monitor my tax spending... I can't turn up to inspect my local hospital, monitor my local school, play with the machines in my local air force base. Money-grabbing govt conspirators!
Animal experimentation is a multibillion-dollar industry fueled by massive public funding and involving a complex web of corporate, government, and university laboratories, cage and food manufacturers, and animal breeders, dealers, and transporters. The industry and its people profit because animals, who cannot defend themselves against abuse, are legally imprisoned and exploited.
Animal research is not perfect, and has never been claimed to be so. Even with all the strict regulations and procedures in place to minimise animal suffering (the propaganda from animal rights groups is generally decades out of date at best, deliberately misleading or lies at worst), it's ethically and emotionally troubling: everyone involved in it regards it as a necessary evil. But there's no question that, without it, improvements in our understanding of and treatment for disease would grind to a virtual halt. At the end of the day, you have to make a choice: animals or people. I've made my choice, and am willing to work on animal models in the hope that the fruits of my work will save human lives.