Drugs for Life: How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health

Front Cover
Duke University Press, Sep 3, 2012 - Medical - 262 pages
0 Reviews
Every year the average number of prescriptions purchased by Americans increases, as do healthcare expenditures, which are projected to reach one-fifth of the U.S. gross domestic product by 2020. In Drugs for Life, Joseph Dumit considers how our burgeoning consumption of medicine and cost of healthcare not only came to be, but also came to be taken for granted. For several years, Dumit attended pharmaceutical industry conferences; spoke with marketers, researchers, doctors, and patients; and surveyed the industry's literature regarding strategies to expand markets for prescription drugs. He concluded that underlying the continual growth in medications, disease categories, costs, and insecurity is a relatively new perception of ourselves as inherently ill and in need of chronic treatment. This perception is based on clinical trials that we have largely outsourced to pharmaceutical companies. Those companies in turn see clinical trials as investments and measure the value of those investments by the size of the market and profits that they will create. They only ask questions for which the answer is more medicine. Drugs for Life challenges our understanding of health, risks, facts, and clinical trials, the very concepts used by pharmaceutical companies to grow markets to the point where almost no one can imagine a life without prescription drugs.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
Responding to Facts
27
Pharmaceutical Witnessing and Direct to Consumer Advertising
55
Having to Grow Medicine
87
Mass Health Illness Is a Line You Cross
105
Moving the Lines Deciding on Thresholds
135
Knowing Your Numbers Pharmaceutical Lifestyles
181
Living in a World of Surplus Health Frequently Asked Questions
197
Notes
219
References
239
Index
257
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Joseph Dumit is Director of Science and Technology Studies and Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity and editor, with Regula Valérie Burri, of Biomedicine as Culture: Instrumental Practices, Technoscientific Knowledge, and New Modes of Life.

Bibliographic information