The Politics of Personalised Medicine: Pharmacogenetics in the Clinic

The Politics of Personalised Medicine: Pharmacogenetics in the Clinic

Hardback Cambridge Studies in Society and the Life Sciences

By (author) Adam Hedgecoe, Series edited by Nikolas Rose, Series edited by Paul Rabinow, Series edited by Patrick Bateson, Series edited by Paul Billinge, Series edited by Michel Morange, Series edited by Martin Richards

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  • Format: Hardback | 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 18mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 10 January 2005
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521841771
  • ISBN 13: 9780521841771
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 1 b/w illus.

Product description

Pharmacogenetics, the use of genetic testing to prescribe and develop drugs, has been hailed as a revolutionary development for the pharmaceutical industry and modern medicine. Supporters of 'personalised medicine' claim the result will be safer, cheaper, more effective drugs, and their arguments are beginning to influence policy debates. Based on interviews with clinicians, researchers, regulators and company representatives, this book explores the impact of pharmacogenetics on clinical practice, following two cases of personalised medicine as they make their way from the laboratory to the clinic. It highlights the significant differences between the views of supporters of pharmacogenetics in industry and those who use the technology at the clinical 'coal face'. Theoretically, this work builds on the developing area of the sociology of socio-technical expectations, highlighting the way in which promoters of new technologies build expectations around it, through citation and the creation of technological visions.

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Author information

Adam Hedgecoe is Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Sussex. He has published in Science, Technology and Human Values, Social Studies of Science, Sociology of Health and Illness, and Bioethics.

Review quote

"Well organized and well written, this book is a useful, relevant and timely read for social scientists interested in issues of science, technology, biomedicine, and healthcare" - Ryan Reikowsky, University of Arizona. "As a study in the social construction of scientific and clinical knowledge, this book can hardly be bettered. It is clearly and interestingly written, and the reader cannot fail to be impressed by the subtleties of Hedgecoe's argument." - Richard Ashcroft, Queen Mary, University of London, UK "It is conceptually innovative and empirically grounded, and points to a new way of looking at the process of technical change in medicine. - Paul Martin, University of Nottingham, UK "...Hedgecoe's study both illumniates new perspectives on pharmacogenetics, and serves as a welcome corrective to work within medical sociology which...implicityly depreciates the role of politics in medicine." Linsey McGoey, London School of Economics and Political Science, British Journal of Sociology "...this work is an extremely useful addition to STS and to anyone interested in a long-term perspective on drug development." -Emily Marden, Science, Technology & Human Values

Table of contents

1. Personalised medicine - a revolution in health care; 2. Pharmacogenetics, expectation and promissory science; 3. Genetics, moral risk and professional resistance; 4. Clinical resistance to Alzheimer's pharmacogenetics; 5. Research, industry and pharmacogenetic literacy; 6. Engineering the clinic - getting personalised medicine into practice; 7. The fourth hurdle - cost effectiveness and the funding of pharmacogenetics; 8. Disappointment and disclosure in the pharmacogenetic clinic; 9. The personalised is political.