Animal ethics

Currently, it is not possible to examine the complex interactions in a living organism solely by the use of for instance cell cultures and tissues. Hence, research using living animals is essential for all pharmaceutical companies in the discovery, development and production of new pharmaceutical and medical products.

Driving the pursuit of life-changing treatments

Drug candidate testing in living animals is a requirement before they can be tested in humans and the authorities require efficacy, safety and toxicology data from both animal and human testing before approval of a new product. The use of experimental animals is, however, a source of concern for many people.

Our approach

Animal ethics

Use of laboratory animals

Non-human primates in research

Our principles for the use of animals

Number of animals purchased

Animals in pharmaceutical research and development

Responsible use of animals

We recognise that not all research using animals can be replaced in the foreseeable future and consider it our responsibility to actively support the principles of the 3Rs (Reduce, Refine and Replace research using animals, Professor William Russell and Rex Burch, 1959) internally and externally.

Rabbits in their housing area

Animal welfare is our highest priority

We have a centralised strategic department that contributes to internal awareness and education as well as ensure continued integration of the 3R considerations in our decision-making processes. Furthermore, the department engages in dialogues and partnerships with our key stakeholders.

When animals are necessary for research.  their welfare is given high priority and attention in several ways. Not only when they are being tested, but also when they are housed.

Our state-of-the-art housing standards consider the physiological and ethological (behavioural) needs of the animals. We have successfully been able to implement the standards for all animals housed at our facilities.

The design of our renovated facilities was made in close collaboration with The Danish Animal Welfare Society and with valuable input from many internationally recognised experts within animal welfare, as well as input from the employees working every day with the animals, especially the animal caretakers.

Housing facilities for animals at Novo Nordisk

See what the housing facilities look like for animals used for research purposes at Novo Nordisk.