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Animal welfare, Ethics

23 - 10 - 2015

Switzerland: Animal welfare and the pharmaceutical industry

Animal testing is an essential step in the development and control of new drugs. In Switzerland, the pharmaceutical industry has decided to actively participate in the protection of laboratory animals and has just published its annual report on animal welfare.

 Pharmaceutical researchIn vitro and animal preclinical studies mark the first steps of drug development. In fact, data from preclinical evaluations are required in the commercialization application file. Indeed, “animal experimentation on living and whole organisms remains essential before moving to humans,” according to the INSERM. Thus, the candidate drug must be tested on several species, including rodents.   Animal welfare in 2015: what kind of progress?In 2010, Swiss pharmaceutical industries adopted a Charter for the protection of animals to ensure « responsible conduct towards animals in research.” Members of this Charter explain in their 2015 report that the conditions of laboratory animals have improved thanks to: Programs and costs that encourage the application of the 3Rs (Reduce, refine and replace animal research)Active participation on implementing the Directive 2010/63/UE on the protection of laboratory animalsOngoing training of those involved in animal researchA system of internal audits that control accommodation and care standards and the handling of animalsThe validation and regulatory acceptance of alternative methodsAn open dialogue with policy makers and the public, through the visits of animal facilities for example Interested in the topic? Read the annual report of the UK concordat on openness in animal research.