Animal Testing Is Necessary, But Should All Testing Of Pharmaceuticals Be Carried Out On Animals?

931 words - 4 pages

Introduction
Animals have been used for pharmaceutical testing throughout history. The Greeks in early BC were the first to carry out animal testing using live animals to test experiments and different medicines on. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_animal_testing)
Animal testing has provided many positives to human lives but is still a controversial issue. Some people believe that animal testing is unnecessary and alternatives should be considered. Others believe animal testing is essential to find if certain drugs are harmful to humans.

Biology
Animal testing involves testing pharmaceutical drugs on animals in order to see the effectiveness and side effects of the drug. This is usually carried out by inhaling, inserting or placing the drug on the animal’s skin. Two regular tests conducted are the LD50 test and Draize test.
LD50 is a common animal test which stands for the lethal dose (LD) which will kill 50 per cent of the animals being tested in a certain amount of time. It involves the testing substance usually placed in the animal’s mouth via a tube. Animals are observed over a series of days to determine which dose of substance. LD50 is most commonly tested on rats and mice and is used to test drugs, agricultural chemicals, cleaners, and some cosmetics. (www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/ld50.html#_1_1)
Draize test is an eye or skin irritancy test usually conducted on rabbits to determine if the pharmaceutical is safe by placing a substance on the skin or eyes. The rabbits are seized with restraints and their eyes are held open so they are unable to blink and wash the chemical out. The effects of the pharmaceutical are observed over the following days to see if any irritation or reactions occurs.( Vicki Katrinak,2007 )

Arguments
Pharmaceuticals should be tested on animals as alternative methods don’t allow for testing of effects across a whole organism.The alternative method such as growing cell cultures can only determine if the drug is toxic or effective on a cell. It can not determine the side effects such as vomiting, rashes, bleeding and strokes which can occur from some drugs (Kristina Cook, 2006) It would be unsafe to distribute a drug if the side effects were not known.
“The whole organism is so complex that a drug that was effective and nontoxic in-vitro may turn out to be ineffective or toxic when given to a human being”
(Sonu Singh, December 2009)

Animal testing should continue as the impact of diseases have been reduced or in some cases cured. An example of this is the disease Polio which causes paralysis and affected many in the 1900s. A polio vaccine was experimented on animals and later used on humans saving many lives. Flu vaccinations, antibiotics, vaccines and many other pharmaceuticals-all used on humans have been through animal testing to deem them safe. (www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=19866)
Dr Conn a scientist at the Oregon University said that “polio, smallpox, and tuberculosis are but...

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