The Drugs Don't Work: Expectations and the Shaping of Pharmacogenetics

Hedgecoe, Adam and Martin, Paul (2003) The Drugs Don't Work: Expectations and the Shaping of Pharmacogenetics. Social Studies of Science, 33 (3). pp. 327-364. ISSN 1460-3659

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This article examines one particular set of technologies arising from developments in human genetics, those aimed at improving the targeting, design and use of conventional small molecule drugs - pharmacogenetics. Much of the debate about the applications and consequences of pharmacogenetics has been highly speculative, since little or no working technology is yet on the market. This article provides a novel analysis of the development of pharmacogenetics, and the social and ethical issues it raises, based on the sociology of technological expectations. In particular, it outlines how two alternative visions for the development of the technology are being articulated and embedded in a range of heterogeneous discourses, artefacts, actor strategies and practices, including: competing scientific research agendas, experimental technologies, emerging industrial structures and new ethical discourses. Expectations of how pharmacogenetics might emerge in each of these arenas are actively shaping the trajectory of this nascent technology and its potential socio-economic consequences.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Expectations, genetics, genomics, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, bioethics
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biochemistry
School of Global Studies > Anthropology
School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Chris Keene
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2008
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 16:51
Google Scholar:126 Citations
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