Science, politics, and health in the brave new world of pharmaceutical carcinogenic risk assessment: Technical progress or cycle of regulatory capture?
The carcinogenicity (cancer-inducing potential) of pharmaceuticals is an important risk factor for health when considering whether thousands of patients on drug trials or millions/billions of consumers in the marketplace should be exposed to a new drug. Drawing on fieldwork involving over 50 interviews and documentary research spanning 2002–2010 in Europe and the US, and on regulatory capture theory, this article investigates how the techno-regulatory standards for carcinogenicity testing of pharmaceuticals have altered since 1998. It focuses on the replacement of long-term carcinogenicity tests in rodents (especially mice) with shorter-term tests involving genetically-engineered mice (GEM). Based on evidence regarding financial/organizational control, methodological design, and interpretation of the validation and application of these new GEM tests, it is argued that regulatory agencies permitted the drug industry to shape such validation and application in ways that prioritized commercial interests over the need to protect public health. Boundary-work enabling industry scientists to define some standards of public-health policy facilitated such capture. However, as the scientific credibility of GEM tests as tools to protect public health by screening out carcinogens became inescapably problematic, a regulatory resurgence, impelled by reputational concerns, exercised more control over industry’s construction and use of the tests, The extensive problems with GEM tests as public-health protective regulatory science raises the spectre that alterations to pharmaceutical carcinogenicity-testing standards since the 1990s may have been boundary-work in which the political project of decreasing the chance that companies’ products are defined as carcinogenic has masqueraded as techno-science.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Abraham, John & Reed, Tim, 2003. "Reshaping the carcinogenic risk assessment of medicines: international harmonisation for drug safety, industry/regulator efficiency or both?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 195-204, July.
- Abraham, John, 1998. "Regulating the cancer-inducing potential of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Some lessons from the 1970s and 1980s," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 39-51, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:8:p:1433-1440. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.