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October 23, 2012

Costs of Animal and Non-Animal Testing

Humane Society International

Some animal tests take months or years to conduct and analyze (e.g., 4-5 years, in the case of rodent cancer studies), at a cost of hundreds of thousands—and sometimes millions—of dollars per substance examined (e.g., $2 to $4 million per two-species lifetime cancer study).

The inefficiency and exorbitant costs associated with animal testing makes it impossible for regulators to adequately evaluate the potential effects of the more than 100,000 chemicals currently in commerce worldwide, let alone study the effects of myriad combinations of chemicals to which humans and wildlife are exposed, at low doses, every day throughout our lives.

In contrast, computer modeling techniques are lightning-fast, and many cell-based in vitro methods are amenable to “high throughput” automation using robotics—all at a much lower cost than animal tests. 

 Type of Toxicity    Study Cost ($US)
     
 Genetic toxicity    
 Chromosome aberration  animal test  $30,000
   in vitro test  $20,000
 Sister chromatid exchange  animal test  $22,000
   in vitro test  $8,000
 Unscheduled DNA synthesis  animal test  $32,000
   in vitro test  $11,000
 Eye irritation/corrosion    
 Draize rabbit eye test animal test   $1,800
 Bovine corneal opacity and permeability (BCOP) test in vitro test  $1,400
 Skin corrosion    
 Draize rabbit skin test  animal test   $1,800
 EpiDerm™ human skin model  in vitro test  $850
 CORROSITEX® membrane barrier  in vitro test  $500
 Skin sensitisation    
 Guinea pig maximisation test  animal test   $6,000
 Local lymph node assay (LLNA)  reduction alt.  $3,000
 Phototoxicity    
 Rat phototoxicity test  animal test  $11,500
 3T3 neutral red uptake test  in vitro test  $1,300
 Embryotoxicity    
 Rat developmental toxicity test  animal test  $50,000
 Rat limb bud test  in vitro test  $15,000
 Non-genotoxic cancer risk    
 Rat 24-month cancer bioassay  animal test  $700,000
 Syrian hamster embryo (SHE) cell transformation test  in vitro test  $22,000
 Pyrogenicity    
 Rabbit pyrogen test  animal test  $475-$990
 Limulus amoebocyte lysate (LAL)  1st gen in vitro  $85-$160
 Human blood method (Endosafe-IPT)  2nd gen in vitro  $83-$100
 Estrogen hormone interactions    
 Rat uterotrophic assay (OVX)  animal test  $29,600
 Subcellular receptor-binding assay  in vitro test  $7,200
 Androgen hormone interactions    
 Rat Hershberger assay  animal test  $37,000
 Subcellular receptor-binding assay  in vitro test  $7,300

Charles River Laboratories. CRL Price List. Wilmington, MA: CRL (2006).
Corvi R (ECVAM), personal communication.
Derelanko MJ & Hollinger MA (Eds.). Handbook of Toxicology, Second Ed. Washington, DC: CRC Press (2002).
Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee. EDSTAC Final Report. Washington, DC: US EPA (1998).
Institute for In Vitro Sciences. IIVS Price List. Gaithersburg, MD: IIVS (2007).
Stott W (Dow Chemical), personal communication.
Webb S (Proctor & Gamble), personal communication.

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