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We engage with the European Medicines Agency on their workplan goals

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We are helping to shape the European Medicine Agency’s 2024 workplan goals to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in regulatory testing.

In our role as stakeholders at the EMA’s 3Rs Working Party, our Senior Science Advisor, Kate Shipton, last month delivered a presentation at the group’s second stakeholder meeting. Kate reflected on the Agency’s 2024 plans, which already incorporate suggestions we made in the first stakeholder meeting in 2023, and suggested further goals for the future.

The 3Rs Working Party (3RsWP) advises the EMA on the use of animals in regulatory testing, with a focus on the 3Rs principles, of replacement, reduction and refinement of animal testing.  We welcome this group’s engagement with us as stakeholders.

We recognise that many of the EMAs goals support the aims of our Replace Animal Tests (RAT) List, which highlights ten tests using animals that are still conducted despite having valid non-animal replacements. The total number of animals still being used in these ten tests could be 1.4 million every year in Europe alone, based on 2020 statistics.

Kate said: “The opportunity to collaborate with the EMA at this level is incredibly valuable, and being able to make a presentation to them is a privilege. It gives us a fantastic platform to promote the use of non-animal methods in regulatory drug testing and to encourage a transition away from testing on animals. We fully support the 3RsWP’s plans for the coming year, and are delighted that they include many of the suggestions that contributed.

"It is hugely heartening that not only are we being heard but that the agency are making efforts to contribute to the reduction, refinement and replacement of the use of animals in the regulatory testing of medicines. We look forward to seeing the results of their work, and hope to see a removal of the barriers which currently block the use of non-animal methods, and ultimately, to see an end to cruel experiments on animals.”