Talk on Pharmaceutical Industry - India and US

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Pharmaceutical Crises and Questions of Value:
Terrains and Logics of Global Therapeutic Politics


Presentation by Kaushik Sunder Rajan

Date: 04/02/2012
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Place: 125 Nolte Center for Continuing Education


Kaushik Sunder Rajan explores how the contemporary global terrain of drug development is constituted by different logics of crisis. He explores 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, neo-liberal patient consumers, marginalized experimental subjects of clinical trials, and global civil society advocates for access to essential medicines. He argues that the constitutive state of crisis experienced by all of 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, he suggests that value in biocapital itself needs to be conceptualized.

Kaushik Sunder Rajan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. He works on the political economy of the life sciences, with an ethnographic focus on the United States and India. He is the author of Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life (Duke, 2006) and the editor of Lively Capital: Biotechnologies, Ethics and Governance in Global Markets (Duke, 2012).

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