Home  >  Editorial
you can get e-magazine links on WhatsApp.Click here
Pioma_Lactic
Editorial
+ Font Resize -

PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH SANS ANIMALS

Ramesh Shankar
Tuesday, November 23, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, an American animal rights organization, recently urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to devise an action plan for India to phase out animal experiments in pharmaceutical research.  PETA’s demand comes close on the heels of the European Parliament passing a resolution that has committed to phasing out animal experiments in pharmaceutical research. Last month the European Parliament had voted in favour of framing an action plan to curb animal testing in pharmaceutical research. Members of European Parliament (MEPs) supported a motion for a resolution to speed up the transition to innovation without using animals in research, regulatory testing, and education. Now, it is in the hands of the European Commission to develop an action plan for the European Union. Besides European Parliament, a handful of US lawmakers had last month introduced two bills aimed at ending mandatory animal testing of new pharmaceuticals destined for human trials. Supporters of animal welfare, euphemistically termed animal activists, are of the view that most of the drug discoveries are possible without experimentations in animals and inflicting cruelty on them. Many monkeys, dogs, rats, and other animals are mutilated, burned, blinded, cut open, poisoned, and drugged in laboratories every year. The animal activists argue that not only are these tests cruel, their results are also inapplicable to humans because of the vast physiological differences among species. Modern methods, such as in vitro and in silico tests, are reliable, human-relevant, and more cost-efficient than those involving animals.

During the last several years, there have been controversies in the world on the issue of the role of animal experimentation in drug discovery. Millions of animal are routinely used every year in laboratories around the world to test the safety and efficacy of drugs for humans. All conventional drugs are tested on animals at some point as this is required by regulators and in many countries by legislation. It is true that virtually all major medical advances for both humans and animals have been achieved through bio-medical research by using animal models. So much so that over 50 Nobel Prize winning researchers of the last Century in Medicine and Physiology utilised animals. The heart-lung machine, an important component of open heart surgery, was developed in dogs and pigs, and cardiac pace-makers were developed and tested in dogs. Same is the case with common sutures, clips, staples and grafts which are essential components of surgical interventions. Several life-threatening terminal conditions, such as renal failures, strokes, cardiac infarcts, degenerative musculo-skeletal diseases etc., are being treated through transplants, angioplasty, bypass surgery, orthopaedic implants, insulin pumps and a whole range of transplantable and disposable devices were developed in the first place in animals. Morbidity and mortality from TB, polio, diphtheria, several bacterial and fungal infections, diabetes, several diseases of the Central Nervous System, such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, alzheimers and epilepsy; stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, have all come down dramatically due to availability of new drugs. But unfortunately, in spite of all these advances that medical science has made over the years, a large number of intractable diseases still remain incurable. Cancer, several viral diseases, immunodeficiency disorders including HIV/AIDS, degenerative diseases due to increasing number of ageing populations and many life-style-induced diseases fall under this category. A section of the scientists argues that advances in the management of these diseases through the development of diagnostics, prophylactics and therapeutics can come about only through the continued use of animal models in medical research. Whatever be the merits of these arguments and counter-arguments, the focus of the arguments should be on developing new drugs for the next generation.

 

Post Your commentsPOST YOUR COMMENT
Comments
* Name :     
* Email :    
  Website :  
   
     
 
 
 
Copyright © 2016 Saffron Media Pvt. Ltd |