In Greene’s article, he outlines two themes found in the commonsense narrative of drug formation: 1. That a disease both predates its remedy and serves as a fixed ‘target’, and 2. That there is a sharp division between a scientific sphere in which diseases and cures are researched and a commercial sphere in which they are marketing. His exposition of Diuril’s ‘life history’ tells us the themes within reality are much different. Disease is just as defined by the drug as the drug is by the disease.
According to Greene, this integration began during the pharmaceuticals boom after WW2, whereby increased competition caused a new, increasingly integrated marketing model emerged, interlocking research and marketing.
Diuril didn’t develop out of a targeted search for anti – hypertensive therapy, as the common narrative would imply. Rather it was seen as a side effect; once published the realization that the hypertensive market was bigger than the one Diuril was originally intended for, efforts of clinicians, researches and marketers transformed it into lucrative anti – hypertensive.
Seen in this example, it is evident that as early as the 1950’s marketing and commodification of drugs even before there release had already begun.. Since then, clinical research has become and integral force in the marketing of drugs. What does this mean for the common narrative? If, as it seems to be the case, drugs and diseases they aid are simultaneously created it would seem that full disclosure is morally required, but when marketing attitudes have penetrated the academic researcher, is it even possible to separate disease, pharmaceuticals, researchers and marketers in a meaningful way?
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