In this essay, I explore how the contemporary global terrain of drug development is constituted by different logics of crisis. I explore this terrain through an empirical focus on pharmaceutical logics and politics in the United States and India today, which are constituted, at the very least, by interrelations between multinational corporate interests, the local generic drug industry, neoliberal patient consumers, marginalized experimental subjects of clinical trials, and global civil society advocates for access to essential medicines. My argument is that the constitutive state of crisis experienced by all these entities (though in different ways and with different stakes) is a consequence of the playing out of structural logics of global capital and biocapital. These logics are constituted by the value systems of speculative capitalism; the instrument of intellectual property; the imperatives of the globalization of biomedicine; and the way in which health itself comes to be appropriated by capital as a source of value. In the process, I suggest that value in biocapital itself needs to be conceptualized.
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Research Article| April 01 2012
Kaushik Sunder Rajan; Pharmaceutical Crises and Questions of Value: Terrains and Logics of Global Therapeutic Politics. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2012; 111 (2): 321–346. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-1548239
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