Drugs for Life

DrugsForLife-Dumit-Cover-rev

How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health (2012 Duke University Press)

Kindle version is now out!

Hear my radio interview about Drugs for Life on BBC 4 Thinking Allowed

Every year the average number of prescriptions purchased by Americans increases, as do healthcare expenditures, which are projected to reach one-fifth of the U.S. gross domestic product by 2020. In Drugs for Life, I consider how our burgeoning consumption of medicine and cost of healthcare not only came to be, but also came to be taken for granted. For several years, I attended pharmaceutical industry conferences; spoke with marketers, researchers, doctors, and patients; and surveyed the industry’s literature regarding strategies to expand markets for prescription drugs. I concluded that underlying the continual growth in medications, disease categories, costs, and insecurity is a relatively new perception of ourselves as inherently ill and in need of chronic treatment. This perception is based on clinical trials that we have largely outsourced to pharmaceutical companies. Those companies in turn see clinical trials as investments and measure the value of those investments by the size of the market and profits that it will create. They only ask questions for which the answer is more medicine. Drugs for Life challenges our understanding of health, risks, facts, and clinical trials, the very concepts used by pharmaceutical companies to grow markets to the point where almost no one can imagine a life without prescription drugs.

Here is introduction to it: Dumit 2012 Drugs for Life – Introduction

Buy Drugs for Life at Amazon

Drugs for Life also featured in Booktivism at the wonderful and scary Selling Sickness conference in February 2013. You can download a reader’s guide to the books here.

--

2012

Dumit, Joseph. 2012. Drugs for Life: Growing Health through Facts and Pharmaceuticals. Durham: Duke University Press.

»Cyborg Babies

CyborgBabies

From Techno-sex to Techno-tots Edited by Robbie Davis-Floyd and Joseph Dumit (Routledge, Aug 1998) From fetuses scanned ultrasonically to computer hackers in daycare, contemporary children are increasingly rendered cyborg by their immersion in technoculture. As we are faced with reproductive choices connected directly with technologies, we often have trouble gaining perspective on our own cultural Continue reading…

+
-

»WRITING THE IMPLOSION: Teaching the World One Thing at a Time

implosion-lain

This has been my mainstay form of doing and thinking ethnographically a connected and disconnected world. A reading of Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema 2 in dialogue with Donna Haraway’s works and methods. Working through the former helps me unpack the process of Haraway’s inquisitive “implosion” method and some of its aims better. I describe this as Continue reading…

+
-

»Haptic Creativity

HapticCreativityImage2

Co-authored with Natasha Myers. 2011 “Haptic Creativity and the Mid-Embodiments of Experimental Life,” in Companion to the Anthropology of Bodies/Embodiment.  In this chapter, we present our collaboration working as anthropologists of experimental forms of life. We examine fieldsites where practitioners develop and use computerized visualization technologies. In the process we aim to collaborate with scientists and Continue reading…

+
-