ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Animal Experiments and Pharmacology Teaching at Medical Schools in India: A Student's Eye View

Mandeep Singh Dhingra, Amandeep Singh and Jatinder Singh
Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India

AATEX 11(3):185-191, 2006

Abstract
Animal experiments are an integral part of the pharmacology teaching at medical schools in India. Various medical schools in India, and rest of the world, have either introduced alternatives to these experiments or are debating the issue. There have been very few studies that have tried to define the relevance of these experiments and report the attitude of the medical students towards them. This survey aims to assess the attitude of undergraduate medical students towards animal experiments and alternatives to these experiments, in the process trying to explore the issues pertaining to their relevance.
A questionnaire based survey was conducted amongst second professional medical students at Government Medical College, Amritsar, India. Questions explored various aspects of animal experiments in pharmacology teaching and provided a platform for expressing views on alternatives to animal experiments.
Majority of the students understood the importance of animal experiments in pharmacology but did not favour the use of animals in medical education. There was a strong opinion against the sacrifice of animals for these experiments. There was a strong wave in favour of reducing the number of animals involved in experiments apart from the various other alternatives suggested.

Key words: Pharmacology, Education, Animal Experiments, Alternatives


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(AATEX: Altern. Animal Test. EXperiment.: Alternatives to Animal Testing and EXperimentation)