Book Reviews: Global Politics & Pharmaceutical Industry Practices

Two books on the ethics, politics and practices of the global pharmaceutical trade. Reviewed are: The Global Politics of Pharmaceutical Monopoly, Power, Drug Patents, Access, Innovation and the application of the WTO Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health by Ellen F.M. ‘t Hoen (AMB Diemen, 2009) and Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics, Markets, Practices, edited by Adriana Petryna, Andrew Lakoff, & Arthur Kleinman (Duke University Press, 2006).

The Global Politics of Pharmaceutical Monopoly, Power, Drug Patents, Access, Innovation and the application of the WTO Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health by Ellen F.M. ‘t Hoen (AMB Diemen, 2009. ISBN 97890-79700-06-6)

In her new book, The Global Politics of Pharmaceutical Monopoly, Power, Drug Patents, Access, Innovation and the application of the WTO Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, Ellen ‘t Hoen, former Director of Policy Advocacy for the Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) Access Campaign, outlines progress made in increasing access to medication and medical innovation. She also identifies critical unresolved issues in development and distribution of new medical technologies for the treatment and prevention of disease in the developing world. Specifically, this book describes how access to medication in the developing world is affected by the current global rules for pharmaceutical patents. The book highlights recent alternative mechanisms to encourage medical research and development in a way that also ensures access to the product—by separating the cost of research and development from the price of diagnostics, medicines, and vaccines.

Link to reviews of this book:

Knowledge Ecology Studies
European AIDS Treatment Group

Link to this book:

AMB Press (where you will find link to an on-line version of this book)

 

Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics, Markets, Practices by Adriana Petryna, Andrew Lakoff, & Arthur Kleinman (eds.) (Duke University Press, 2006. 312pp. ISBN 082233741X)

This edited volume, a collection of ethnographies, tackles a timely topic- the inequalities produced by the current global pharmaceutical system that of the anthropologist. This collection provides insights into the burgeoning international pharmaceutical trade and the global inequalities reinforced by market-driven medicine. From an examination of how popular and professional understandings of psychiatric illness in the Western world to the experience of African families faced with the financial burden of AIDS treatment for its members, this book brings together experiences of individuals and communities and the roles they play along with organizations, corporations, and governments in the market-driven game of global pharma. This work is an important step in bringing the moral and ethical issues inherent in every phase of pharmaceutical production to the forefront of the social science research agenda.

Link to review of this book:

British Journal of Psychiatry

Link to this book:

Amazon.com