The report by the Academy of Medical Sciences into the use of non-human primates in medical research has been welcomed by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) - but it stressed that much more can, and is, being done to ensure such research is carried out only when absolutely necessary.
Primate research - which comprises less than one per cent of all animal tests - continues to be an essential element into some medicines research.
"However, the pharmaceutical industry acknowledges that is has an obligation towards animals, especially primates, and that everything is done to implement the '3Rs' of replacement, refinement and reduction," said Dr Philip Wright, ABPI Director of Science and Technology. "When animals do have to be used, good welfare and housing are at the top of our agenda."
The ABPI has an active involvement with the work of the National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs), including a joint task force to review the use of primates in medicines discovery and development. With the support of member companies, the ABPI funds a programme manager to drive the science and implementation of the 3Rs.
Essential areas where use of non-human primates is still necessary include the development of treatments or vaccines for polio, AIDS, TB, dengue fever and neuro-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's.
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410