Giving the animals a break

The ABPI has welcomed government plans to reduce and refine animal testing in the UK.

Following the release of new government plans that outline strategies for reducing the use of animals in drug testing, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has spoken publicly in support, commending the cause for animal protection.

In a recent guidance document developed by the Department of Health, the Home Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, government officials outlined plans to reduce animal research by refining practices to ensure animals are only used when there is no viable alternative.

While animal research does play a key role in the development of new treatments and medicines, an improvement in technology is seeing advances in techniques – such as tissue engineering, non-invasive imaging and mathematical modelling – that can help reduce animal involvement.

The ABPI welcomed the government plans and stressed that its members were already committed to reducing and refining animal testing in the UK, the EU, and internationally.

Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the ABPI, added: “As a signatory to the concordat on openness of animal research, the ABPI is also making strides to improve the transparency around animal research, which is an important ongoing priority.”