Press Release, May 28, 2013
Coalition against Bayer Dangers
Doctors against Animal Experiments Germany
BAYER: Alternatives to animal experiments demanded
Yearly 170,000 experiments on animals at BAYER alone / “Results not transferable to humans”
On the occasion of the BAYER shareholder meeting the Coalition against Bayer Dangers and the Doctors against Animal Experiments Germany have asked the company to change its research to methods not involving experimentation on animals. This change is required not just for ethical reasons, but is also of interest to patients and consumers.
Silke Bitz of the Doctors against Animal Experiments: “We request BAYER and all other pharmaceutical companies change to methods which are absolutely without experimentation on animals. Using computer simulations, tests on cell cultures and by means of bio-chips, it is possible to describe in detail the metabolizing of new active agents in the human body. Such research methods are ethically justifiable and bring relevant results to humans – unlike experiments on animals.”
Philipp Mimkes of the Coalition against Bayer Dangers adds: “Experiments on animals are not only irresponsible towards animals but also towards humans. They don’t serve the safety of patients, but instead serve to lawfully safeguard the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Procedures based on animals are scientifically antiquated and ethically no longer justifiable.” Mimkes requests the revision of the corresponding regulation, as a great part of the experimentation on animals is dictated by law.
During the past year BAYER “consumed”, according to their own publications, more than 147,000 animals. In addition more than 23,000 animals were used by externally commissioned institutes. BAYER repeatedly has co-operated with controversial test laboratories such as Professional Laboratory and Research Services (PLRS) and Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), both of which are known for using methods which are cruel to animals.
Studies by the US-American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have shown that 92 percent of potential pharmaceuticals, which proved to be effective and safe in experimentation on animals, don’t pass clinical testing, as they either don’t show any effectiveness or produce undesirable effects. This uncertainty has fatal consequences: in Germany alone 58,000 people are dying each year as a result of pharmaceutical side effects.
“The Lipobay example shows that grave side effects are not to be foreseen through experimentation on animals. In spite of the “excellent tolerability” predicted by BAYER after numerous experiments on animals more than 100 patients suffered from rhabdomyolysis, which is a severe decay of the muscles, resulting in death”, explains Mimkes. Animals such as rats, mice, rabbits, dogs, pigs and monkeys had been given Lipobay via gavage, intravenously or as a food additive. Several side effects did turn up, however, they were different from the harm later observed in humans. Some animal species suffered from slight muscle damage under high dosage, but were not inflicted with the fatal rhabdomolysis. Instead, some animals were affected by stomach-bleeding and afflictions of the eye.
“Since experimentation on animals are not suitable for an effective pharmaceutical research, if only for its own interest, BAYER would be well advised to part from this antiquated method and to move one step ahead in modern pharmaceutical research without experimentation on animals”, concludes Silke Bitz.