Novartis has made great strides in adopting and even creating advancements in non-animal methods for drug discovery and development from computer and cell-based culture to organ-on-a-chip technology.
The Novartis organizational website shares extensive public information about the company’s commitments to animal welfare. It includes the numbers of animals needed for research and development at Novartis, along with recent 3Rs advancements recognized by a Global 3Rs Award.
Since 2019, Novartis has recognized Biomedical Research Awareness Day (BRAD) annually around the globe. Employees use this opportunity to increase understanding about the continued need for animal research in developing life-changing and life-saving medications and therapies and to recognize 3R champions. The company also hosts an employee Culture of Care Art Challenge. Submissions for the Art Challenge have ranged from poetry, charcoal drawings, and graphic illustrations to needle point embroidery and even wood carvings.
Novartis has significantly increased engagement with company associates about the organization-wide commitment to high standards of animal welfare. Examples of these measures include:
● Embracing emerging technology like specialized digital rodent housing that
allows scientists to study mice in their home environments.
● Unique animal welfare roles within the organization to ensure even greater implementation of the 3Rs principles.
● Robust ethical oversight of animal studies conducted by third parties.
Advice for Others
Novartis recognizes that they are one of many organizations with excellent animal care programs and commitment to animal welfare. Sharing that commitment can be energizing and exciting for associates. The team has found that in-reach is just as important as outreach, perhaps even more so. Recognizing Biomedical Research Awareness Day can be a wonderful first step for building in-reach programs. The team advises starting small and building confidence with each incremental success.
Novartis is looking forward to honoring their newest Local and Global 3Rs Award Winners as well as this year’s 3Rs Innovation Grant Award Winners.