(Cross post from 3BL Media / theCSRfeed) NOVO ALLE, Denmark - December 1, 2011 - As of 28 November 2011, Novo Nordisk will no longer use living animals to test the quality of the batches of medicine coming out of Novo Nordisk’s production lines. These tests have for years been required by health authorities as part of their approval of the products.
“Today’s achievement is a milestone in our ongoing commitment to animal ethics in Novo Nordisk. We have been working for more than a decade, in close collaboration with regulatory authorities around the world, to eliminate obsolete tests or develop and certify new laboratory assays that can be used instead of animals to evaluate the consistent quality of our marketed products,” says Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer, Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen.
Novo Nordisk has a commitment to the 3R principles to 'Reduce', 'Refine' or 'Replace' the use of animal testing within the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, a task force was established more than ten years ago with the ambitious aim to eliminate all redundant product control tests in living animals or replace them with other test methods that would guarantee the same product safety.
Live animals that have been used in these biological product control tests include mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits. Over the years, the number of animals used in this area has been gradually reduced from more than 13,000 animals a year in the 90s, to 2,078 animals in 2000 and to 772 animals in 2010. The last living animals are used for a virus control on 28 November 2011, and in 2012 the number of biological product control tests performed on living animals will be zero.
In the 90s Novo Nordisk reduced the total number of animals used by almost 70%. Since then Novo Nordisk has been able to keep the numbers at approximately the same level despite increasing research activities year on year.
In 2010, the number of animals used in Novo Nordisk was 62,152. At present, some experiments on living animals are essential for all pharmaceutical companies in the processes of discovery and development of new pharmaceuticals. It is in addition a requirement from the authorities that drug candidates are tested in living animals before they can be tested in humans.
To see the video “A milestone in animal ethics,” click here.