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Pfizer Guidelines and Policy on Laboratory Animal Care
Pfizer is dedicated to helping people and animals live longer, healthier lives through the discovery and development of breakthrough medicines and therapies. Animal-based biomedical research in the pharmaceutical industry remains a vital component of the discovery, evaluation and regulatory processes, which lead to the development of products that save or improve human and animal lives throughout the world.
Pfizer's Animal Care and Use policy reflects our absolute commitment that animals used in research are treated humanely. This means that any research involving animals is conducted only after appropriate ethical consideration and review. This review ensures that we provide a high level of care to experimental animals, and that there is no scientifically appropriate and validated alternative to the use of animals that is acceptable to regulators, where relevant.
For as long as it remains necessary to use animals in biomedical research in the discovery, development and evaluation of new medicines, we commit to maintaining high standards in the humane treatment of these animals. Significantly, we embrace the principles known as the 3Rs of animal research first proposed in 1959 by Russell and Burch to describe the use of alternatives in animal research. These are:
Replacement of animal experiments with non-animal experiments such as mathematical models, computer simulations, and in vitro biological systems wherever appropriate.
Reduction of the numbers of animals used in each study, and of the number of studies involving animals, to the absolute minimum necessary to obtain valid results and achieve our research objectives.
Refinement of procedures involving animals to minimize the potential for pain and distress.
For as long as it remains necessary to use animals in medical research, it is our policy to maintain the highest possible standards of laboratory animal care and use. To assure we maintain these high standards, we have adopted the following guidelines:
- When animal experimentation is necessary, great care is taken to choose the most appropriate animal species for the research and to optimize the study design to ensure that the results will be as meaningful as possible.
- All studies are carefully designed to gain the maximum information from the fewest number of animals possible.
- Each proposed use of animals is reviewed and approved by a panel of objective experts prior to performing any experiments to ensure that the use of the animals is consistent with sound scientific practices and ethical considerations.
- Our standards of animal care and welfare meet or exceed those required by applicable local, national, or international laws and regulations.
- We regularly monitor our animals for signs of ill health or distress and take prompt action wherever appropriate. We make veterinary care available to our animals at all times.
- Our veterinarians and scientists evaluate every proposed animal procedure with an emphasis on eliminating or minimizing any potential for pain or distress which may be experienced by the animals.
- We train all Pfizer colleagues involved in the care, welfare and use of animals to ensure (a) that they are competent in the care of the animals and in the procedures required to complete the proposed work; (b) that they are aware of the ethical issues involved in the use of animals; and (c) that they demonstrate respect and humane treatment towards the animals in their care.
- We expect our contract research organizations, collaborators and vendors to maintain similar high standards. Parties conducting animal based research for Pfizer at their facilities are required to adhere to this policy and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. We perform welfare audits of third party facilities in accordance with our quality assurance policies.
- When animals are used in veterinary clinical studies under the care of their owners and the supervision of a veterinarian, we expect similar high standards of care and welfare and compliance with all relevant regulations. These studies underpin the development of new veterinary medicines and we provide instruction and support to the owners and veterinarians so that they can provide appropriate animal care and welfare.
Note: This policy is subject to regular monitoring and evaluation.