Animal based clinical testing, barbaric

Over 90% of drugs tested on animals labeled as safe and effective fail during human clinical trials.


As part of training, medical post-graduates in India will drug animals, induce severe blood loss in them, force tubes down their throats, deprive them of oxygen, occlude their arteries, and cut their nerves. Later, all these animals will die. Animal based tests are barbaric in nature.

John Pawloski, a faculty at Harvard medical school, says that non-animal teaching methods are academically superior, widely available and more cost-effective than dissecting animals or experimenting on them.

These teaching methods accurately model human anatomy and physiology, create immersive scenarios that mimic real-world medical scenarios, allow students to repeat medical procedures until proficiency and improve the confidence of doctors in transferring learned skills to clinical practice. This model also provides an educator, a look at a real-time and objective performance feedback.

The state of medical education around the globe is moving away from using animals as living test tubes and towards more effective, ethical and economical human-simulation models. In countries like US and Canada animal based testing is banned for undergraduate MD degree. However, MBBS programmes at medical colleges in India, still require students to perform pharmacology and physiology experiments on live animals.

Over more than 90 per cent of drugs that are shown to be effective and safe in animals fail during clinical trials on humans. This is due to the significant differences in physiology between species. The high failure rate should alarm anyone who relies on life-saving therapies.

The future of biomedical research should not be based on animal testing, but rather on non-animal methods such as computer software, cell cultures, non-invasive imaging, micro-fluidic chips, micro-dosing studies, Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) models, mass spectrometry and genome mapping.


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