What's the Deal with Animal-Free?

Updated: Feb 16


If you've been following our posts or browsing our website, you've probably noticed that we often use the term "animal-free" vs. "vegan." But why?


We believe that calling a pharmaceutical, supplement or cosmetic product vegan is inaccurate as the FDA regulatory processes for new drug approval include animal testing during the research phases. Since veganism is a way of living that excludes exploitation of animals for any reason, the terminology animal-free is the most accurate as it simply implies that a product does not contain any animal-derived ingredients.


“Certified Animal-Free” is a certification program offered by VeganMed, Inc. Currently, “Certified Animal-Free” is intended to certify medications, supplements, and cosmetics as not having any ingredients of animal origin. This certification sets the highest quality standard in the industry as it 1) incorporates lab testing to detect animal-derived ingredients and 2) provides independent verification of the individual ingredients in a product. The certification program addresses the needs of many social and religious cultures such as veganism, vegetarianism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and also of those that embrace an animal cruelty-free world.


There is a Need For Animal Ingredients Disclosure!


People have a right to know if their medicines contain animal ingredients [Mehta]. There is mounting concern that individual ethical, spiritual and dietary needs should be properly recognized and addressed in respect of all goods and services, including those offered by the pharmaceutical and medical sectors. Many drugs contain animal ingredients and need better labeling [BBC]. In a study of 100 patients, 84% reported not knowing that several medications contained ingredients derived from animal sources. Nearly 63% of the patients wanted their physicians, and 35% of the patients wanted their providers (pharmacists, nurses), to notify them when using such medications [Sattar]. Alternatives exist for many animal-derived ingredients, and healthcare providers are increasingly incorporating awareness around animal-free drugs in their medical practice. [Kate Tatham et al]


References

Reker, Daniel, et al. "“Inactive” ingredients in oral medications." Science translational medicine 11.483 (2019): eaau6753.


Tatham, Kate, and Kinesh Patel. "Why can't all drugs be vegetarian?." BMJ (Overseas and retired doctors ed.) 348.7944 (2014): 18-20.


Rivera, Kara, and Kristen N. Gardner. "Managing requests for gluten-, lactose-, and animal-free medications." Current Psychiatry 16.10 (2017): 47-48.


Sattar, S. Pirzada, et al. "Patient and physician attitudes to using medications with religiously forbidden ingredients." annals of Pharmacotherapy 38.11 (2004): 1830-1835.


Tatham, Kate C., and Kinesh P. Patel. "Suitability of common drugs for patients who avoid animal products." Bmj 348 (2014): g401.


Mehta, Nitin. "People have a right to know if their medicines contain animal ingredients." Acute pain 10 (2019): 00.



Want to learn more? Check out the links below!

Drug Discovery

Veganism is a way of living

Carmine






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