The Times of India published a story in September claiming that biomedical research in that country has come to a near standstill due to a committee run by animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi which is blocking almost all research involving animals.
Gandhi is a former government minister and animal rights activist who heads the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals. According to The Times of India, Gandhi and her committee are “making it virtually impossible for medical scientist to use large animals for experiments” in India.
According to the Times, for example, an Indian company was recently prevented from using 15 rabbits for safety testing of a new drug. It did the logical thing and outsourced the testing to a nearby country, the result being that the test was still done but at a higher expense and requiring more time to complete.
The Times also claims that the Committee has prevented tests designed to quickly diagnose virus outbreaks. According to the Times,
At the National Institute of Virology, Pune, scientist could not conduct any tests on monkeys to get quick results as they struggled to contain a mysterious outbreak in Andhra Pradesh which went on to claim the lives of some 200 children. “The scientists did whatever they could in the laboratory. But tests on monkeys would have given some immediate results,” says a senior Indian Council of Medical Research (ICRM official). The same story was repeated during another epidemic of brain fever in Assam.
Production of new drugs getting delayed. Times of India, September 24, 2004.