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  • Acknowledgments  xi

    Introduction. Value, Politics, and Knowledge in the Pharmocracy  1

    1. Speculative Values: Pharmaceutical Crisis and Financialized Capital  37

    2. Bioethical Values: HPV Vaccines, Public Scandal, and Experimental Subjectivity  62

    3. Constitutional Values: The Trials of Gleevec and Judicialized Politics  112

    4. Philanthropic Values: Corporate Social Responsibility and Monopoly in the Pharmocracy  157

    5. Postcolonial Values: National Industries in Pharmaceutical Empire  193

    Conclusion. Constitutions of Health, Responsibility, and Democracy  229

    Notes  247

    References  301

    Index  321
  • "This book offers the most incisive, compelling analysis yet of the multinational pharmaceutical industry—of the mechanisms by which health is appropriated by capital, and the empirically distinct ways in which this takes place in different locations across the globe. As Kaushik Sunder Rajan makes plain, the 'pharmocracy' thus produced is no mere instrument of profit maximization: it also yields complex regimes of governance, knowledge, and ethics that are contested and rendered political in unpredictable, polarizing ways. The account is a tour de force in the study of bioscience, value, and the nature of power in our times." — Jean Comaroff, coauthor of The Truth about Crime: Sovereignty, Knowledge, Social Order

    "Pharmocracy is deeply unsettling, taking world systems ethnography and postcolonial science and technology studies in new directions with its intricate account of how the global pharmaceutical industry is making its mark in contemporary India. Superbly written and argued, Pharmocracy examines the fate of science and innovation, public health, and democracy while telling of next-generation imperialism and of the many nodes and modes of politics engendered by contemporary structural conditions. It is also a story about and a call for governance. One comes away both sobered and impressed by Indian institutions." — Kim Fortun, author of Advocacy after Bhopal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders

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  • Description

    Continuing his pioneering theoretical explorations into the relationships among biosciences, the market, and political economy, Kaushik Sunder Rajan introduces the concept of pharmocracy to explain the structure and operation of the global hegemony of the multinational pharmaceutical industry. He reveals pharmocracy's logic in two case studies from contemporary India: the controversial introduction of an HPV vaccine in 2010, and the Indian Patent Office's denial of a patent for an anticancer drug in 2006 and ensuing legal battles. In each instance health was appropriated by capital and transformed from an embodied state of well-being into an abstract category made subject to capital's interests. These cases demonstrate the precarious situation in which pharmocracy places democracy, as India's accommodation of global pharmaceutical regulatory frameworks pits the interests of its citizens against those of international capital. Sunder Rajan's insights into this dynamic make clear the high stakes of pharmocracy's intersection with health, politics, and democracy.

    About The Author(s)

    Kaushik Sunder Rajan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and the author of Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life, also published by Duke University Press.
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