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Gianna Perez

English Composition 102


Professor Fandler
26 April 2016
Defining The Line: The Difference between Necessary and Unnecessary Animal Testing in the
Pharmaceutical and Toxicology Communities
When we are sick we dont think twice about how the medicine like a Z-Pack is deemed
safe for us to consume. The truth is that pharmaceutical and toxicology communities often test
new medications on animals to make sure they can be used safely and effectively on animals.
Although it is indeed necessary for our medications to be tested for safety, it is not necessary for
all of them to be tested on our furry friends. In this paper I will be discussing when it is
necessary for us to test these medicines on animals and when alternatives can be used. There is a
new movement happening in these pharmaceutical and toxicology communities and not all of
those testing these drugs agree that they should be tested on animals. I will take a look at when
animal testing can be effective and when other methods can be used as a substitution. The main
focus of this research project is to differentiate when it is acceptable to test on animals and when
it is effective to use the alternatives.
The link between animal testing and the pharmaceutical and toxicology community was
formed a very long time ago. Various types of animals ranging from mice to amphibians and
dogs to primates have all been used in this type of research for many years (Doke 224). Mice and
rats are said to account for nearly 95% of the animals that are used annually in research and
testing (Stokes 1298). The main focus of testing on these animals is to develop new drugs that

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fight a wide range of diseases and illnesses alike (Doke 224). Animal testing is the way that these
communities understand the effects of the diverse drugs, medical procedures and surgical
experiments (Doke 224). Also, these animals are used to collect other sorts of products like
vaccines and antibiotics (Doke 224). These are not the only sorts of products that are assessed for
safety by animal testing. Products such as new chemicals, pesticides, and new consumer products
are also tested for safety by using animals (Stokes 1297). The most recent estimates have shown
that there are at least around 100 million animals are used each year (Ferdowsian 1). This just
goes to show that there are still areas that are using animal testing as a way of testing safety
when it is not necessarily the best way of assessing the safety of the products.
There are those who pose the questions as to why this is important to discuss and the
answer to that is that it is relevant in all of our lives. This issue is not only important to animal
activists, but also should be considered by those who love our furry friends. It brings in to
question the difference between the moral acceptability of testing these treatments on animals as
it relates to humans. It should not be acceptable to put these creature through pain and suffering
because we would not be willing to test these same medications on human beings themselves.
This issue may seem small compared to other happenings in the world around us at the moment,
but it is a part of a bigger conversation. The focus shouldn't just be on riding animal testing from
the pharmaceutical and toxicology communities alone, it should be on the fact that if we aren't
willing to do these tests to our fellow human beings because of ethics than the answer should be
the same for animals. They are also living things and deserve to be considered as such. In August
2010, a collaboration between Georgetown University Kennedy Institute of Ethics, the John
Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, the Institute for In Vitro Sciences,
the George Washington University, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

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occurred at a two day international conference in Washington D.C (Ferdowsian 1). This meeting
was held because they wanted to address the opportunities and challenges to implementing the
alternatives to animal testing in research (Ferdowsian 1). The speakers at this conference talked
about advances in developing new alternatives to animal use in the pharmaceutical and
toxicology communities in terms of testing new drugs (Ferdowsian 1). It is self-evident, that such
a convention occurring in our nations capital, also regarded as the political epicenter of the
world, in an effort to make progress in terms of the alternatives to animal testing, is important not
to just the pharmaceutical and toxicology communities themselves but to the world as a whole.
Now just because I have said that animal testing occurs in the pharmaceutical and
toxicology communities does not mean that it is being used in all sectors of those communities.
The continued reliance in those communities is predominantly due to the debate on whether or
not the non-animal methods are truly capable of predicting the effects that the different drugs
may have on human beings (Burden 1). There are a few different alternative methods to animal
testing some of which include the 3Rs method, computer models, cells and tissue cultures and
alternative organisms. All of those alternative methods will be discussed in this paper. The first
method that will be discussed is the 3Rs method, which is stated by WS Stokes as The concept
involves refining animal use to lesson or avoid pain and distress and enhance animal well-being,
reducing the total number of animals required for specific studies, and replacing animals with
non-animal systems and approaches (Stokes 1298).
Let us first start with the refining of animal use to in turn try to decrease the animals
pain. One way that they can make sure the animal is not in distress is by enriching the animals
surroundings, so that it then reduces the stress that the animal is being put through. Something
simple such as this is a huge improvement to what went on years ago not only for the animals

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but also for the study itself. Sonali K. Doke states that under the stress and discomfort that the
animals are being exposed to, their hormones fluctuate which causes the researches to need to
perform it again and again to make sure that the quality of the research is up to par (Doke 225).
Which proves that by making the animal more comfortable you are actually increasing the
validity of your research study also. Now comes the reduction of the total number of animals
needed in a research study. One of the ways that they can reduce the number of animals needed
is by doing in vitro cell cultures (which will be explained further later in the paper) which can
help understand the drug effects early on in the process and can cut out the use of animals if not
completely but a large number (Doke 225). The last part of the 3Rs method is called
replacement, meaning the replacement of animals from the testing being done altogether. There
are many alternatives to using animals in the testing such as, the in vitro models (discussed
above), cell cultures, computer models, and new analyzing techniques (Doke 225). This is
important because there is not necessarily a need for animals in some of the tests performed on
them. In some countries, they now use in vitro cell cultures for the skin irritancy test and the
Draize eye irritancy test because there is not a need to use animals for them anymore (Doke 225).
That is the 3Rs method and how it pertains to the alternatives for animal testing.
Computer models are another alternative to animal testing for certain types of studies.
According to Doke, computer models can be used to predict different types of biological and
toxic effects of a chemical or potential drug without the use of animal testing (Doke 225). This is
mainly used as a primary screening technique that is later tested further, sometimes using animal
testing as the final stage of testing. Softwares such as these are important because with their help
they can make a new drug for a specific job.

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Next are the cell and tissue cultures that were mentioned above as one of the alternative
to animal testing. This involves the growth of certain cells outside of the body in a laboratory
(Doke 226). Cells and tissues from the liver, kidney, brain, and skin are removed from an animal
and grown outside of the body in the lab and can be kept anywhere from a few days, to a few
months and some even for a few years (Doke 225). This could be considered the most important
alternative because as mentioned in the paragraphs above it is being used as a replacement for
animal testing in some types of irritancy testing for different drugs and medications. These tend
to be a lot easier to do, protocols for this type of testing are not as confusing and strict and it does
not cost nearly as much money compared to animal testing. This method is also primarily used
for preliminary screening of potential drugs or molecules to test for the efficiency and safety
(Doke 225).
The last alternative to animal testing that is going to be discussed in this paper is the use
of alternative organisms compared to that of animals in research studies. There are three types of
alternative organisms used in these studies which include lower vertebrate, invertebrates and
microorganisms. Lower vertebrates are an inviting idea because they are genetically related to
mammals and other higher vertebrates. Another thing that makes them a good alternative is that
there are less ethical problems involved in their use (Doke 226). A zebra fish is a widely used
example of a lower vertebrate that is commonly used in research testing because early in
development it has a transparent body that makes it easy to see its anatomy and they are small in
size and have a relatively short life cycle, which makes it perfect for laboratory use (Doke 226).
Invertebrates are also widely used in research studies such as the diseases of Parkinsons disease,
muscular dystrophy and diabetes (Doke 227). An example of an invertebrate that is used a lot in
research studies are fruit flies (Doke 227). Microorganisms are the third types of alternative

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organisms that can be used in research testing. Brewing yeast is a microorganism that is the most
popular and most important model organism because of its accelerated growth and other factors
(Doke 227). All of these alternative organisms can be used as a replacement for animals in
research testing and it is actually proven that they work just the same, and actually in some cases
better than if they were to use animals in these studies.
There are regulatory authorities who have accepted a number of alternative methods, but
the problem is that they are not being implemented in the way that they should be. In order to
actually do anything to impact the welfare of animals the regulatory agencies and the drug
industries for that matter have to use these alternative methods and show that they need to be
used by everyone. Otherwise, yes while they are being accepted they are not being utilized and
that makes it none the better for the animals. According to Stokes there are various barriers that
must be overcome in order to achieve what is necessary (Stokes 1299). One of the most
important things that needs to be done is that the government agencies need to accept the data
collection from the alternative methods and assure the industries that this information is suitable
in terms of the regulations and guidelines that are set (Stokes 1299). Another barrier is that not
all of the people working for the regulatory agencies are aware of the alternative methods and
that they are indeed accepted (Stokes 1299). This is a serious problem because, how then are
they going to be able to say that whatever drug is being tested is safe if they do not even know
the method it was tested in is accepted and aligned with the rules and regulations set by
themselves. With respect to getting a drug certified for market entry, drug companies know the
existing guidelines tend to favor animal testing over the previously mentioned alternatives. In
light of this, at least until guidelines are amended, most companies advancing a particular drug

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will play the odds by using traditional methods. Which may be the default way to go but may not
necessarily be the right idea.
The issue about when animal testing is effectively used and when it becomes unnecessary
pain and suffering is the main focus to this research project. I understand that there are some
things that just cannot be tested effectively for our safety if they weren't tested on animals first.
For instance, as of right now there should be no reason that a furry creature is put through
distress to make sure that someone's mascara curls their eyelashes correctly. Animal testing in the
cosmetic industry is just unreasonable. There are so many organic, skin friendly, and healthy
alternatives to the harsh chemicals and other ingredients in cosmetics. There should be no reason
that we are testing cosmetics on animals when we have come so far and advanced when it comes
to cosmetics and other products. The other side to that is that it is still necessary for the sectors
that test for cures to cancer and other diseases to test on animals. The drugs that they use for
those kinds of diseases are hard-core and very harmful to people if not tested properly. Those
people suffering with cancer and other diseases like it are already in enough pain and there
bodies have been put through the ringer. If we were to give them a drug that we weren't sure was
safe for their bodies to ingest than even though we are trying to help them we are doing more
harm than good. That is the crossing point to where in fact animal testing can be acceptable and
where is goes too far. This is not to say that in the future should we find a better way to in fact
test these drugs, and that we should still keep animal testing in the loop so to say. My point is
that there are indeed some cases when it is necessary to use animal models for testing and there
are also times it is outrageous to do so.
This research project is about the line between acceptable animal testing and when it
becomes something done out of habit that isn't needed anymore. Hopefully as time goes on and

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we advance into the future of medicine, there will come a time when we have the knowledge and
technology to test these things in a way that will not cause any of our fuzzy friends pain and
suffering. For now though we must eliminate each case of testing on animals one by one any
chance we get. This is not just for the animals sake, but for our morals as humans. We are at the
top of the food chain and it is about time we start thinking about how we treat those below us.
When it comes down to it, we are not the only living things on the planet and we should be wary
of how we treat those that we co-exist with.

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Works Cited
Burden, Natalie, Fiona Sewell, and Kathryn Chapman. Testing Chemical Safety: What Is
Needed To Ensure Widespread Application of Non-Animal Approaches?. Plos Biology 13.5
(2015): 1-8. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.
Doke, Sonali K., and Shashikant C. Dhwale. Alternatives to Animal Testing: A Review.
Journal of the Saudi Pharmaceutical Society 23.3 (2015): 223. Supplemental Index. Web. 30
Mar. 2016.
Ferdowsian, Hope R., and Nancy Beck. Ethical and Scientific Considerations Regarding
Animal Testing and Research. Plos One 6.9 (2011): 1-4. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30
Mar. 2016.
Stokes, WS. Animals and the 3Rs in Toxicology Research and Testing: The Way Forward.
Human & Experimental Toxicology 34.12 (n.d.): 1297-1303. Science Citation Index. Web. 30
Mar. 2016.