Pros and cons of animal testing medicinal products

Pros and cons of animal testing medicinal products

Animal testing medicinal products are related to the manufacturing processes. While the medical world still uses animal testing for a product, some consider this as harmful. Yet, over the years, animal testing products brought positive results.

Every year hundreds of animals, like rats to monkeys, are being used for testing pharmaceutical drugs during development in medical science. This is because animal testing helps in keeping humans safe from any poisonous chemicals.

Scientists use different medicines on them to check the positive as well as the negative effects. In case the medicine fails to show any effect, they decide to test it on humans.

However, there are disadvantages of animal testing as well. For example, according to PETA, over 100 million animals die each year in the U.S. alone due to failed testing and other reasons.

Many scientists are on either side of the animal testing debate. Also, some are still on the fence, deciding between its clinical usefulness and the moral dilemma.

Reasons for testing medicines on animals

There are various reasons for scientists to use animal testing for the development of medicinal products. Here are some of them.

  • Improves scientific understanding

Gathering scientific knowledge using simple biological research aids in a better understanding of how organs work. This theory applies to both animals as well as human beings. It is important to understand that animal study is an integral part of the research.

Various basic cell processes in animals are similar to that of humans. Apart from that, like humans, animals have the same digestion process, breathing, reproduction, etc.

Due to this reason, animals are extensively used for testing medical products. Comparing species, analyzing the differences and similarities between humans and animals is important for getting insights.

Scientists use small animals to study complex biological systems, especially the immune system and the nervous system. All these things are quite similar in humans. Hence, the medicines will show the right effect when tested on animals.

  • Works as models for studying various diseases

Both humans and animals deal with similar illness patterns and different types of illness. Due to this reason, animals can easily work as models for studying diseases. For example, rabbits suffer from stiffening of arteries or birth defects like humans.

Dogs, like humans, suffer from diabetes, ulcer, bleeding disorders, etc. Hence, you can understand that they can become the natural candidates for testing medicines. Coming to the cats, they suffer from visual impairments.

To better understand the diseases, various animal models help the researchers find out about effective therapies. Researching the disease mechanisms through animal models helps develop new medicines that are useful both for animals and humans.

  • Helps in developing potential treatment forms

    After the researchers find out about any particular disease, various animals are utilized for developing potential therapies. Indeed, it is a crucial step towards the research process.

    For example, the medicines used for treating Parkinson's disease are made keeping in mind the animal models showing Parkinson's symptoms. These models are used as an integral part of the biological research for treating the disease symptoms.

    Various data from animal studies are necessary before new treatment techniques, and surgical methods can be used on humans. Tools like scanners, pacemakers, etc., are safe since these are tested on animals first.

    Apart from that, surgical techniques like open-heart surgery as well as heart transplants use different methods. The different methods and equipment used in surgery are developed after testing them on animals.

    • Supports human safety, environment, and animals

    New medicines developed require testing since the researchers have to find out about the benefits and side-effects. These include the effects of various compounds on humans and if they are long term or short term.

    Once any new medicine is introduced, scientists test it in-vitro, utilizing tissues and other organs. However, legally it is important to test it on animals before any clinical trials on humans.

    It is important to understand that animal testing helps in providing data on safety as well as efficacy. Testing medicinal products on animals helps find out the potential safety and the doses which the patients will need.

    Pros of animal-tested medicinal products

    The advantages of animal testing are as follows.

    • Promotes changes in human health

    Since humans and animals have similar internal systems, it is best to test animals' medicinal products. Besides, it will help to keep humans safe from harmful chemical exposure.

    Moreover, animal tested medicinal products will ensure that you are not exposed to any harmful toxins or chemicals. Thus, it will help in lowering the health risks in humans. Many scientists have argued that testing medicines on animals are necessary.

    This step is necessary before the manufacturing process; otherwise, people will consume toxic products that would harm their health.

    • Important for research

    Testing medicines on animals is necessary; otherwise, it will become tough for the scientists to guess the safety of the products. Testing the products helps in conducting effective trial-and-error processes. Thus, animal testing should not be banned.

    Besides, medicines work in reducing the disease symptoms and cures them as well. If the scientists do the tests, then you will get the right medicines for your disease without the fear of any adverse effects.

    • The most useful technique available currently

      Although the animals and humans do not have a similar composition, it will still help analyze how the medicines will work on humans. Due to this reason, it is the best idea to test the medicines on animals before sending them for manufacturing.

      There are few inherent limitations to these practices, yet testing medicines on animals before manufacturing is considered useful. Until medical science comes up with other effective processes of testing medicines, animal testing will continue.

      • Saves animals from mistreatment

      The 1966 Animal Welfare Act stipulates fewer housing standards for the various lab subjects. Besides, the veterinarians will do regular inspections to check whether the scientists are taking care of them.

      The labs have to take approvals from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee before beginning with test procedures. All these things help in preventing the animals from unwanted mistreatments.

      • Animals get many benefits

      In case the scientists did not test the vaccines on animals, they would have died due to tetanus, distemper, rabies, etc. Thus, vaccinations and animal-tested medicines help in preventing many diseases in animals.

      Besides, this practice is useful since it has helped in saving many endangered species. Apart from that, animal testing prevented many animals from extinction.

      Cons of animal-tested medicinal products

      The disadvantages of animal testing are as follows.

      • Approves harmful drugs

      Although animal testing medicinal products are useful; however, there are many disadvantages are there too. Many drugs are there that might work on animals, but humans develop severe allergies.

      For example, Thalidomide, a sleeping pill popularly used during 1950, led to various birth defects and deformities in over 10,000 newborns in 46 countries. The drug passed the animal test, but the humans were allergic to it.

      Another common drug named Vioxx, made for treating arthritis, had positive impacts on mice. Even though it protected their heart, it later caused heart attacks in humans. Due to sudden cardiac arrest, the medicine was discontinued in the market.

      • Causes animal death

      Even though the animal tests are painless and do not involve any such torture on them, the case is not the same every time. The trials are especially painful since once the trials get over, they are killed.

      In many cases, the animals suffer from severe chemical poisoning, injuries, and living in captivity. Hence, this is one reason why animal testing should be banned, according to some experts.

      • Costs a lot of money

      Animal testing is not cheap since you have to provide shelter, food, and care before taking a test. Besides, testing takes a lot of time and effort, which means it takes many expenditures.

      Adding up all these things will lead to a rise in your expenditure. Thus, you can understand that testing medicinal products on animals involves expenditure. Besides, scientists have to purchase animals for testing.

      • Involves many unnecessary tests

      Although it is disheartening, testing medicinal products does not always result in new products. At times, scientists take the test without intending to use the products. Due to this reason, animals suffer and die due to the dangerous tests.

      Animals have to go through unnecessary tests, and due to this reason, animal-tested medicinal products are harmful.

      • Never contributes to a medical breakthrough

      Various scientists claimed that any breakthrough in the medical world through animal testing might not be useful. Besides, there is not any proof that animal tests are not effective in making any advancements.

      Various animal-free alternative tests are there that not only helps in preserving animals but also saves time and money. Hence, animal testing for medicinal products does not bring any medical breakthrough. This is one of the commonly raised points in the animal testing should be banned debate.

      • It might be possible that animals receive inhumane treatments

      Although animal testing for medicines does not require inhuman treatment, animals go through inhuman treatment. An example of this is the 1944 Draize Test, where rabbits are used for three days. They are held back, and they go through extreme pain and discomfort.

      Due to this reason, animal tested medicinal products receive huge criticism throughout the world.

      Conclusion

      Undoubtedly, animal testing for medicines is quite controversial. While some think that it has various benefits, others consider it to be harmful. At the moment, researchers are using other testing techniques as well. But, they still need time to develop a completely safe testing technique during drug development.

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