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Lecture 6

Drugs & Society Lecture 6 Notes (1.31.14)

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Northeastern University
SOCL 1295
Lisa Ferruccio

Lecture 6 1/15/14 11:48 AM *Read NYT E-Cig article on BB for Wednesday: read intro and all discussions, then pick one discussion that strikes you the most, and remember it for participation points in class wednesday* *Also, final paper will be due by April 25that her office* Branding a Condition (Bancroft- p. 149) -this will be on quiz- 1. An existing condition can be expanded and elevated in importance • Turns a common experience into a disorder that can be treated • Consumers are encouraged to think of personal difficulties as potentially medical, treatable problems • Pre-Menstrual Dysmorphic Disorder (PMDD) 2. Redefine an existing condition to reduce a stigma • Viagra ▯ Pfizer successfully changed the language of impotence to ED (erectile dysfunction, but now you can say it publically) 3. A new condition may be developed to create a need • Social Anxiety Disorder—Paxil—SmithKline • Halitosis—Listerine—Warner—Lambert • ADD? OCD? Big Questions: What do you think it means to say that we rely only on individual solutions to problems? What would it mean to treat medical problems as social issues? • No smoking in bars/public places (instead of having individuals cut back or stop smoking) • No soda in school cafeterias (instead of encouraging kids to drink less soda) How do we reconcile the anti-drug messages of the war on drugs with intensive pharmaceutical advertising? • Above the influence ads vs. Direct to Consumer advertising • Is there a contradiction here or does the issue of legality resolve any sort of mixed message? • Does the increased medicalization of society blur the lines between acceptable and nonacceptable drug use? • “Far more effort in our society is placed on getting patients on drugs then off them” (quote from reading) Ads & Well-being Well-being is recast as a commodity and as a distinct personal achievement • Individualized health • Examples in ads: o “I took control” or “I asked my doctor” (proactive) Global Pharma Who is driving the market? • While infectious diseases that primarily affect poor societies remain undertreated, global markets for lifestyle treatments have grown o Neglected Infectious Diseases- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation • The pharma industry sponsors cures for drugs with proven consumer bases…bringing about the questions: o Whose illness is worth treating? o Everyone in rich countries is now seen as a lifelong “market share” HIV/AIDS Drugs in Africa • The alarmingly slow development of the anti-HIV drug market in Africa has been attributed to the allegedly unreliable medical and economic behaviors of that continent’s desperately poor HIV sufferers o Heightened investment risk ▯ traditionally justified the industry’s failure to make low-cost drugs accessible to those who need them o People in Africa may not be able to take the drugs most effectively, like on a full stomach or with water • Naming & Shaming o When the authorities or activists make known to the public the names of companies or people that have broken the law or the rules for a particular activity or acted against public interest o After facing intense pressure and backlash from international institutions and humanitarian and activist groups, the pharmaceutical industry agreed to give up patent rights and profits making treatments for AIDS amore affordable o Here, the appeal was to a global sense of justice, and human rights o There are no price controls on pharmaceuticals in the U.S., so when AIDS drugs come out they are extremely expensive The Trend: Overseas Clinical Testing • Previously drugs had to go through four rounds of trials, typically done in the U.S. by the population planning to use the drug • By 2008, there was a huge increase of trials being conducted in foreign countries of drugs intended for American use • Now companies are doing 100% of their testing offshore • Clinical trials are conducted by CROs- Contract Research Organization
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