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Sex Drugs and Corporate Ventriloquism: How to Evaluate Science Policies Intended to Manage Industry-Funded Bias

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

“Female sexual dysfunction” is the type of contested disease that has sparked concern about the role of the pharmaceutical industry in medical science. Many policies have been proposed to manage industry influence without carefully evaluating whether the proposed policies would be successful. We consider a proposal for incorporating citizen stakeholders into scientific research and show, via a detailed case study of the pharmaceutical regulation of flibanserin (misleadingly marketed as the “female Viagra”), that such programs can be co-opted. In closing, we use Holman’s asymmetric arms race framework as a tool for evaluating policies in industry-funded science.

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