Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission Bans Animal Test for Batch Testing of Human Vaccines

Image Source: Medical Dialogue

The pandemic crisis has led to an emergent need for vaccines to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus. The procedure followed to ultimately save humans comes at the cost of animal lives. But a recent decision made comes in favour of these animals. The Indian Pharmacopeia Commission under the Union Ministry of health and family welfare has banned the testing of animals carried out for batch testing of human vaccine. The Abnormal Toxicity Test (ATT) has been removed from the human vaccine monographs. The ATT test violates the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) which had banned the test in November 2018.  The order comes after the draft notification was released for public consultation in May 2020. The ATT test was first introduced in the 1950s to diagnose external impurities in the vaccine.

This decision would save the lives of thousands of innocent guinea pigs and mice from the harsh methods of tests. The vaccine is given to them and the batch of vaccine is declared safe only if they don’t die. But afterwards, these animals are killed if not dead during the experiment. The abolition of animal testing now sets according to the Amendment List-06 to IP 2018 as published by the commission.

The landmark decision could be referred from the past records where the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment had banned lives animal dissection and other animal experiments in research and educational centres in 2012. Guidelines were set by the committee of Control and Supervision of Experiments and Animals (CPCSE) formed under Section 15 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960). And then in 2014, India banned the import of animal tested cosmetics which was executed in the form of rule 135-B under the Drugs and Cosmetics (Fifth Amendment) Rules, 2014. The Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules, 1998 defines the term experiment and provides for the use of animals in research and experiments.

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