Far fewer laboratory animals needed in the Netherlands due to new rules for pharmaceutical companies
That is the result of a new directive for the pharmaceutical industry. This is a saving of hundreds of thousands of laboratory animals worldwide, estimates researcher Peter Theunissen of the Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB). This organization, which monitors the quality of medicines on behalf of the government, is involved in drawing up the guidelines for pharmaceutical companies.
To determine whether drugs have harmful effects, they are extensively tested before they can be placed on the market. In the initial phase, around 1000 rabbits and 1500 rats are now being used per medicine. That will soon be 200 rats or rabbits. If the new rules are introduced, only large groups of rats and rabbits will be needed in phase 3.
Since three-quarters of all potential drugs are lost during phases 1 and 2, much can be gained here for saving laboratory animals