When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects

When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects

by Adriana Petryna
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691126577

ISBN-13: 9780691126579

Pub. Date: 04/27/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

The phenomenal growth of global pharmaceutical sales and the quest for innovation are driving an unprecedented search for human test subjects, particularly in middle- and low-income countries. Our hope for medical progress increasingly depends on the willingness of the world's poor to participate in clinical drug trials. While these experiments often provide those

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Overview

The phenomenal growth of global pharmaceutical sales and the quest for innovation are driving an unprecedented search for human test subjects, particularly in middle- and low-income countries. Our hope for medical progress increasingly depends on the willingness of the world's poor to participate in clinical drug trials. While these experiments often provide those in need with vital and previously unattainable medical resources, the outsourcing and offshoring of trials also create new problems. In this groundbreaking book, anthropologist Adriana Petryna takes us deep into the clinical trials industry as it brings together players separated by vast economic and cultural differences. Moving between corporate and scientific offices in the United States and research and public health sites in Poland and Brazil, When Experiments Travel documents the complex ways that commercial medical science, with all its benefits and risks, is being integrated into local health systems and emerging drug markets.

Providing a unique perspective on globalized clinical trials, When Experiments Travel raises central questions: Are such trials exploitative or are they social goods? How are experiments controlled and how is drug safety ensured? And do these experiments help or harm public health in the countries where they are conducted? Empirically rich and theoretically innovative, the book shows that neither the language of coercion nor that of rational choice fully captures the range of situations and value systems at work in medical experiments today. When Experiments Travel challenges conventional understandings of the ethics and politics of transnational science and changes the way we think about global medicine and the new infrastructures of our lives.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691126579
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/27/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations ix

INTRODUCTION: EXPERIMENTAL FIELDS 1

The Search for Human Subjects 1

Anthropology and the Global Clinical Trial 5

CHAPTER ONE: ETHICAL VARIABILITY 10

Why Are Clinical Trials Globalizing? 10

Treatment Saturation 19

Experimentality 26

Ethics as "Workable Document" 33

Floater Sites and Hidden Harms 41

The Aftermath of Clinical Trials 44

CHAPTER TWO: ARTS OF DRUG DEVELOPMENT 47

Study Mills 47

Drug-Development Services 53

From Vulnerable to Professional Subjects 61

The Pharmaceutical Boom and Everyday Research 68

Engineering Out Harm 77

The Scientific Plateau and the New Safety Paradigm 85

CHAPTER THREE: THE GLOBAL CLINICAL TRIAL 89

How Many Clinical Trials Are Being Carried Out Worldwide? 89

The Polish Market and the "Nonexistent" Patient 98

Clinical Research Frontiers 106

Collaborations in Global Science 109

Akademia Kliniczna 116

The Work of Slack 119

Patient-Consumers 124

"Our society was not competitive" 127

Pivotal Countries 130

Insurance and Legal Protection 132

CHAPTER FOUR: PHARMACEUTICALS AND THE RIGHT TO HEALTH 139

Reclaiming Patients and the Evidence Base of Drugs 139

"Pharmaceuticals are the new gold" 142

Health Technology Assessment in Brazil 146

The Judicialization of Health 150

Alternative Treatment Guidelines 153

The Clinical Research Unit 156

When a Country Is a Pharmacy 160

A Public Health Experiment 165

What Happens When Clinical Trials End 167

The Values Patients Bring 173

Information Asymmetry and Agency 179

CONCLUSION: THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL MEDICINE 186

Scientific Evidence and Value 186

Drugs as Public Goods 190

Global Health Markets 192

Innovation 195

Acknowledgments 201

Notes 205

References 225

Index 249

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