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The Politics of Personalised Medicine
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  • 1 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 216 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.465 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 615.5/8
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: RM301.3.G45 H435 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Pharmacogenetics--Social aspects

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521841771 | ISBN-10: 0521841771)

DOI: 10.2277/0521841771

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 (Stock level updated: 03:56 GMT, 27 November 2015)


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.

• The first book-length empirical study of the social/ethical impact of pharmacogenetics • One of the first monographs using the developing area of sociology of expectations • Uses interviews with clinicians, researchers, regulators and company representatives to explore the impact of pharmacogenetics on clinical practice


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.

Prize Winner

Sociology of Health and Illness Book of the Year 2005 - Winner

Philip Abrams Memorial Prize 2006 - Winner

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