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Drugs for Life: How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health Paperback – Illustrated, Sept. 3 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

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Product description


"Drugs for Life is a brilliant and provocative analysis of the new cultural and business logics of science, medicalization, and the drug industry."--Kristin Peterson "Somatosphere"

"Drugs for Life is a synthetic achievement. It captures a web of phenomena occurring in disparate spaces--clinical research, treatment guidelines, advertising practices, biotechnology investments--and shows how they interact to reconfigure our intuitive, personal sense of what health is and what living requires. For this reason, it is destined to enter the canon of science and technology studies." --Helena Hansen "American Ethnologist"

"Drugs for Life is a welcome addition to the fields of medical sociology, medical anthropology, the history of medicine, and STS more broadly. . . . Drugs for Life is provocative beyond the empirical area of pharmaceuticals. For example, scholars who research nondrug substances and materials will find in Drugs for Life a blueprint for success in the pharmaceutical industry that is provocative for understanding why not all products have this degree of ubiquity in the prevention of illness. Scholars who research medical equipment, devices, or tissues that exhibit druglike characteristics will find this work provocative."--Krista Sigurdson "East Asian Science, Technology and Society"

"Drugs for Life is one of the best among many recent works on the pharmaceutical industry, and certainly the most sophisticated by the standards of science and technology studies."--Alasdair McMillan "Science as Culture"

"[T]his book or one of its kind is an important read for those involved in the care of patients or the education of medical students or residents."--William Ventres "Family Medicine" (10/1/2013 12:00:00 AM)

"A rich and valuable contribution to literature on medical ethics, cultural studies, and the sociology of medicine. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."--A. W. Klink "Choice"

"Although its topic is an abstract one, much of Drugs for Life consists of insightful readings of advertisements, of statements by marketers and of patients' accounts. Dumit has pulled together a tremendous number of telling arguments and phrases, and can be at his best when reading them."--Sergio Sismondo "Times Higher Education"

"Dumit examines the role played by the pharmaceutical industry and the rise of evidence-based medicine, which have redefined the borders between sickness and health along statistical lines. Drugs for Life is recommended for anyone who has ever been told they're at risk for illness."--Matt Savelli "Chemical Heritage"

"Thought-provoking and chilling. . . . All registered nurses would . . . benefit from his analysis."--Lucia Hwang "National Nurse"

"Drugs for Life is simply superb, a major accomplishment in the study of pharmaceuticals and their expanding relation to life itself. There is no recent scholarly work that attempts or accomplishes what Joseph Dumit does here, tackling the relation between big pharma and clinical epistemology in such a comprehensive and satisfying way. He deftly links critical debates across the life and human sciences, making an important and compelling argument on a matter central to contemporary public debate."--Lawrence Cohen, author of No Aging in India: Alzheimer's, the Bad Family, and Other Modern Things

"Drugs for Life shocks the reader into seeing health, medicine, pharmaceuticals, and the pharmaceutical industry and drug research for what they are from a cultural standpoint: a new framing of the future world for all of us. And that future is now and troubling and transformative of human conditions. A remarkable contribution that will perturb and disturb professional and general readers."--Arthur Kleinman, coeditor of Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics, Markets, Practices

"In this provocative and important book, Joseph Dumit brings a new approach to bear on critiques of the pharmaceutical industry and U.S. healthcare. He marshals ethnographic research among drug company executives and marketing strategists, along with the analysis of scientific and popular representations of their products, showing how consumers have been tutored into a proactive stance toward health. Over the past few decades, we have come to live by 'the numbers' and 'risk factors' that make embracing lifelong pharmaceutical regimes seem like common sense. But is it? Dumit explores the pharmaceuticalization of American culture and consciousness with a light, accessible touch that belies the depth of his knowledge."--Rayna Rapp, author of Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America

About the Author

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.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Duke Univ Pr (Tx); Illustrated edition (Sept. 3 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 262 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0822348713
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0822348719
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 395 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.6 x 1.47 x 23.39 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

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Leonore Tiefer
5.0 out of 5 stars Radical, essential reading if you want to understand health and "health"
Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2013
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24 people found this helpful
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Jefferson Idealist
5.0 out of 5 stars Pharma's plans for you: 5 drugs for each of us, taken for life
Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2015
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6 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars As Described
Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars good read.
Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2017
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