Introduction: What “Goods” Are Pharmaceuticals?
The authors discuss how pharmaceutical products, i.e., the goods, behave and get involved in their surroundings in the real world, from different perspectives. Healthcare is inseparable from pharmaceutical products, and they are regarded as the goods that interface between medical doctors and patients. Pharmaceutical products are goods controlled by the state, and are involved in various fields of society, e.g., they function as tools for public health; the WHO formulates its policies for them; NGOs carry out support activities in relation to them; they constitute the key in economic and industrial development and promotion; newly developed medicines and generics face the challenge of intellectual property rights; and there exists their illegal distribution. An inductive viewpoint is required; we need to view that in the real world, interests occur in various fields in which pharmaceuticals are involved. Pharmaceuticals are goods with a strong “sociality,” i.e., social standing. How they are valued is determined by their interactions with society. The same would be still true when the term “social” is replaced with the term “international.” This book starts with the argument that the sociality and internationality of pharmaceutical products are closely related to the problem of poor quality pharmaceuticals.
KeywordsConflict of interests Pharmaceuticals Poor quality Social goods Sociality
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