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To believe that people who are against animal testing of pharmaceuticals should refuse any medicines or medical procedures tested on animals?

(68 Posts)
Garcia10 Thu 02-Jul-15 23:43:41

I've just read a post on another thread that has made me think about this issue.

It is law that all pharmaceutical products and most medical procedures are tested on animals before they are tested in humans. This is the requirement of both the FDA and the CTA. Basically animal testing has to occur or no new drugs can come to the market. The vast majority of drugs have been, and until a legalisation change, will be tested on animals.

There are predictive/computational methods available but they are not reliable enough for the regulatory authorities to allow the data to be used in place of data obtained from animals.

Many people seem to take a moral standpoint that animal testing is wrong, that they are against it and they judge others who are involved in the practice. All scientists would prefer there to be another method of treating new drugs but at present there isn't an alternative which would allow a drug to make it to the market.

My argument is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but it seems a hypocrisy to me that there are individuals who condemn scientists who perform animal testing whilst at the same time taking the benefit of what the tests produce.

So tell me, anyone who would condemn scientific research on animals if your children were diagnosed with cancer would you refuse the chemotherapy? If you have fertility issues would you refuse IVF? If you are depressed would you not take anti-depressants? All these drugs have been tested on animals.

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 02-Jul-15 23:49:55

Without those people protesting there would have been no reason to stop cosmetic testing or to raise standards of care where animal testing does occur. The questions over which tests are useful is also prompted by protesting. Yes it can be extreme but some of the committed protestors would indeed refuse any treatment that had been animal tested.
My bugbear was cosmetics as a teenager. You get levels of adherence to every principle.

Garcia10 Thu 02-Jul-15 23:55:14

Cosmetics are a completely different issue. I agree entirely that cosmetics shouldn't be tested on animals and they no longer are.

You are confusing the issue - animal testing in pharma has been considerably reduced and there are ethical commitees which ensure that only necessary tests are carried out.

My question is are people who take drugs tested on animals but are against such testing hypocrites?

Canyouforgiveher Thu 02-Jul-15 23:58:18

My question is are people who take drugs tested on animals but are against such testing hypocrites?

yes they are hypocrites.

I do think animal testing standards have improved but we should also be constantly pushing for higher standards for testing on animals.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 02-Jul-15 23:58:21

Animal testing isn't completely reliable either. I don't like animal testing and would prefer there were other methods. I also think that some animal testing is unnecessary and some is very necessary. Testing batches of vaccines; absolutely. Other stuff; not so much.

honeysucklejasmine Fri 03-Jul-15 00:01:23

Yes, absolutely.

Garcia10 Fri 03-Jul-15 00:03:26

MrsTerryPratchett - define other stuff? Chemotherapy? Anti-infectives? Drugs to treat to dementia?

All drugs have to be tested on animals.

So are you a hypocrite if you condemn such research whilst taking them and criticising/condemning the scientists involved?

FyreFly Fri 03-Jul-15 00:08:49

Every modern medicine is animal tested, right down to ibuprofen and paracetamol.

Whilst I would personally consider those who object to be hypocrites if they use these medicines, I do think at the same time it is important to question our methods and constantly search for improvements, and to remember that current methods are a product of necessity and technological limitations rather than an inherent evilness or desire to cause suffering. Don't forget, it's not solely human medicine we are developing; veterinary medicine is also a huge field - if we stop all animal testing now, how can we develop veterinary pharmaceuticals?

One day I believe animal testing will be obsolete as mass artificial growth of tissue cultures and computer modelling will become much more viable, financially and technologically. We're just not there yet, but until we are, then we need to continue to use the best methods available; in this case, animal testing.

GiddyOnZackHunt Fri 03-Jul-15 00:08:51

No.I am not confusing the issue thanks.
Why has it been reduced? Why do we have ethics committees? Because pharma got fluffy? Or because of protestors?
And as I said some protestors would chose principle over treatment. Some wouldn't and yes you could call those few hypocrites.
So if your AIBU is are hypocrites hypocrites then yanbu confused

wafflyversatile Fri 03-Jul-15 00:09:38

I think everyone should be paid a living wage but I still buy stuff even though I know many people in the supply chain will not be paid a living wage. I'd be dead if I didn't.

FyreFly Fri 03-Jul-15 00:14:54

Waffly the likelihood is that sooner or later everyone in this world will be a hypocrite! If you get through an entire lifetime without having to compromise your principles an inch out of necessity then you will have lived a very fortunate life.

nigelslaterfan Fri 03-Jul-15 00:19:03

I would say, given dubious the value of animal testing looks here that your argument that objectors should refuse tested medicines is morally spurious!

Animal testing doesn't seem to work. A weaker argument then the one which says we should not cause sentient beings to suffer. Doctors are supposed to prevent harm.

caroldecker Fri 03-Jul-15 00:19:23

Whilst total cosmetics are not tested, all the ingredients are animal tested.

Garcia10 Fri 03-Jul-15 00:19:28

Thank you Giddy. You appear to be in agreement.

Canyouforgiveher Fri 03-Jul-15 00:20:15

Waffly the likelihood is that sooner or later everyone in this world will be a hypocrite! If you get through an entire lifetime without having to compromise your principles an inch out of necessity then you will have lived a very fortunate life.

Yes but there is an option for some things. Like you can only buy stuff manufactured by fair trade standards or you could not buy new stuff at all and do second-hand only. Similar with food. I chose not to buy battery farm chicken. It might mean I do without chicken entirely or I have less of it but I can live like that.

But without animal testing, drugs will not get approval and will not be released to the public and so people who might have enormous improvement in health/live longer will go without.

Agree that the protesters made a difference.

Pumpkinpositive Fri 03-Jul-15 00:22:01

I thought just about all medicines were animal tested currently?

Are you suggesting the patient who is against animal testing should decline all medications and just submit to the "will of God", ie, die?


Garcia10 Fri 03-Jul-15 00:23:50

Nigelslater - your link doesn't work however the point is should people who are against animal testing of drugs take them as all have been tested animals.

Regardless of your point whether the tests are valid or not (which I dispute) should you take them if you are morally against the testing?

Garcia10 Fri 03-Jul-15 00:26:38

Pumpkin - that is the question I'm asking. Can you condemn and judge someone for performing the testing if you take the drugs yourself? That seems incredibly hypocritical to me.

Pumpkinpositive Fri 03-Jul-15 00:34:19

Pumpkin - that is the question I'm asking. Can you condemn and judge someone for performing the testing if you take the drugs yourself? That seems incredibly hypocritical to me.

Well, if you don't take the drugs, there is probably a high risk of death.

Can't help the little lab rats by campaigning against animal testing when you're dead, can you? grin

Talismania Fri 03-Jul-15 00:43:01

Without lab animals most drugs wouldn't even make it to the stage of being used in humans. Without lab animals most scientific discoveries wouldn't be made. It's not ice buy is necessary

silverglitterpisser Fri 03-Jul-15 00:43:14

Yabu. I hate animal testing, actively campaign against it etc.

However, if I need to take a paracetamol for a headache I will otherwise the animals that were used to research it (no matter how many years ago) were tortured n killed in vain.

It has happened n still happens, I try to stop it n believe it will stop one day but while it goes on, the animals have already been thru indescribable agonies n deaths, there is nothing to be gained by me being a martyr, too ill to protest etc.

Actually, just read that over n I do sound hypocritical. Ah well, am hypocritical but with a good heart so ya (still) bu!

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 03-Jul-15 00:46:49

I'm out of the loop, but some of the stupid and horrible behavioural experiments were unnecessary. Shit where they heated up the floor and essentially tortured animals. Making rats swim around tubs until they died. I did psychology and there were masses of these experiments. All supposedly to improve the quality of our understanding of the brain and behaviour. Look at the effects of certain drugs.

BTW I'm going to assume you are absolutely condemning of Dr Mengele's murder and torture of children... Well, a massive amount of what we know about hypothermia is directly related to his 'work'. Can you condemn him while still benefiting from what he found? Yes? Does that make you a hypocrite?

GarethCanFOff Fri 03-Jul-15 00:47:54

I think they would only be considered hypocrites if they ran the drug companies that were animal testing and/or made a lot of money out of those companies and then said they were against animal testing (I'm not talking about making a living wage working in one of the companies, but more share-holders and so on).

If they don't run the companies, and are not responsible for creating laws mandating animal testing, then they either take the drugs tested on animals or not take any drugs at all. I think it would be unfair to expect them to take no drugs considering they did not create the manufacturing conditions in the first place.

Their protesting might lead to better testing methods in the future so they have done us, and future generations, a service. I think all animal and human testing data should have to be publicly made available (which is not currently the case with the human trials. I'm not sure about the animal studies, but I would be surprised if it were any different). This would avoid unnecessary duplication (and suffering), and also alert us to problems with medications earlier (currently drug companies can hide data and manipulate the perception of the efficacy and safety of a drug. They also have other statistical methods for manipulating data and Hiding the bodies ).

Avoiding all medication is not like giving up meat or something like that which is something which can be safely done in a modern society (I think there would be some people living in very marginal areas where it would not be possible to give up meat, even if people wanted to).

Expecting people who are against animal testing to forgo all medication would be a bit like expecting an environmentalist to kill themselves because they worry about their carbon footprint. As has been pointed out as well, people have different degrees of opposition and might avoid some medications and not others.

There are a lot of things I would like to see manufactured better but as I am not a millionaire, and don't run any company, I have limited options available to me as a consumer to influence things. I still make an effort to be ethical but I know that it is not possible in all cases because of how things are run. I think campaigns are more important and can have more impact than individual consumer decisions.

trufflesnout Fri 03-Jul-15 00:49:47

Imagine if we had two of every drug on the market - one had been tested on animals and one was not, the catch being that the one not is twice the price. To refuse the ethically produced drug in that case would be hypocritical. As it stands, there is no choice. I don't think it's a traditional kind of hypocrisy, more a hypocrisy born out of futility. So no, I wouldn't judge.

Garcia10 Fri 03-Jul-15 00:51:21

Actually Silver that's another point I need to make. By the time a drug gets to the stage of animal testing it has been through many in vitro tests which hopefully mean it is not toxic by the time it gets tested in animals so. they don't die.

What I want everyone to know is that scientists take animal testing really seriously. They too wish there was another way but at the moment isn't.

My point was don't judge and condemn scientists for doing the best they can within the legislation they have to work within.

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