KATHMANDU, Sept 6: Amid rising concern over the use of animals in drugs research, the drug laboratory under the Department of Drug Administration (DDA) has decided not to conduct further pyrogen test on rabbits and replace them with endotoxin tests.
The Laboratory said that endotoxin tests can be conducted chemically and animals will no longer have to suffer.
Doctors say that the presence of pyrogens in intravenous injections increase the temperature of the body, and its presence in large numbers can be life-threatening. They said that tests are needed to limit febrile reaction in patients who received the injections.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also urged DDA to shift the tests from animals to chemical methods. The laboratory said WHO has provided financial assistance to purchase chemicals for endotoxine tests. “We have decided not to conduct further tests on rabbits. Why make animals suffer when we can conduct studies without involving animals,” said Mohan Prasad Amatya, chief of the DDA laboratory.
Amatya said that the laboratory has been conducting pythogene tests on rabbits for Nepali and Indian intravenous injections and saline products for years. He said such tests are necessaryto ensure the quality of drugs and the safety of patients.
Hundreds of rabbits have to be used to test dozens of Indian and domestic pharmaceutical products.
The laboratory had been conducting the tests on rabbits at the Department of Plant Resources (DPP).