01/16/23 A Historic Step Towards a Cruelty-Free World!
Tremendous success in the US: Drug development no longer requires animal testing
- Ninety-two percent of animal-tested drugs fail to be approved: EU must follow the example of the US
For the first time in over 80 years, amendments to American legislation have allowed for the testing of new drugs in humans instead of animals, using modern methods! Animal Friends Croatia, a member of the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), together with other member organizations, welcome this huge step forward: “We invite the EU and Croatia to follow their example and implement non-animal drug development strategies.”
The recent law, signed by US President Joe Biden in late December 2022, enables the US Food and Drug Administration to approve new drugs without the requirement of animal testing data. Previously, pharmaceuticals were legally bound to test the safety and efficiency of potential drugs in multiple rounds of animal testing, using at least two animal species, before they were allowed to test them in humans in clinical trials.
“A vast amount of research so far clearly shows the failure of the outdated system based on animal testing. On average, around 92% of potential drugs are abandoned during clinical trials in humans, although they were previously successfully tested on animals, largely because they are ineffective, or they have significant side effects. Nine out of ten potential drugs are abandoned, which constitutes a problem from the ethical, medical, and economic point of view,” states Animal Friends Croatia.
Thanks to the new law, for regulatory purposes, instead of the standard animal tests, new methods can now be used in the US for testing in humans such as human mini-organs (the so-called organoids), organ-on-a-chip technology, and bioprinting. Many methods have already proven to be more accurate and reliable than animal testing. For example, recent research involving “liver-on-a-chip” indicated the toxic effect of several compounds on the liver, whereas previous experiments on animals inaccurately classified those same compounds as safe.
Examples like this show the potential this legislative change have, not only to save numerous animals from horrible experiments and cruel death but also to ensure greater safety for patients.
However, animal testing has not been prohibited by the new law, and it remains permitted as an optional testing method. Despite this, the fact that pharmaceuticals will no longer be legally obliged to conduct animal experiments is a huge step forward, as is the fact that they will be free to rely on accurate non-animal methods of testing in people.
While the US is introducing the latest modern and progressive legislation, animal testing is still a legal requirement in medicine approvals in the EU, and subsequently, in Croatia. Animal Friends Croatia and other organizations from the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments are calling on the European Commission to set up and implement a strategy to gradually end the flawed animal testing system.
“Europe must follow the lead of the USA as soon as possible, and no longer require animal testing in drug development. If we want to develop better therapies and keep up with the global drug-developing market, we must rely on the latest, most successful, and reliable methods of testing in humans, rather than meaningless animal testing,” concludes Animal Friends Croatia.