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	Conflict of Interest and Medicine

Conflict of Interest and Medicine

Knowledge, Practices, and Mobilizations

Boris Hauray, Henri Boullier, Jean-Paul Gaudillière, Hélène Michel [dir.]
Routledge,  [2021],  270 p.

In the context of a growing criticism on the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on physicians, scientists, or politicians, Conflict of Interest and Medicine offers a comprehensive analysis of the conflict of interest in medicine anchored in the social sciences, with perspectives from sociology, history, political science, and law.

Based on in-depth empirical investigations conducted within different territories (France, the European Union, and the United States) the contributions analyze the development of conflict of interest as a social issue and how it impacts the production of medical knowledge and expertise, physicians’ work and their prescriptions, and also the framing of health crises and controversies. In doing so, they bring a new understanding of the transformations in the political economy of pharmaceutical knowledge, the politicization of public health risks, and the promotion of transparency in science and public life.

Complementing the more normative and quantitative understandings of conflict of interest issues that dominate today, this book will be of interest to researchers in a broad range of areas including social studies of sciences and technology, sociology of health and illness, and political sociology and ethics. It will be also a valuable resource for health professionals, medical scientists, or regulators facing the question of corporate influence.


  • Boris Hauray is a sociologist at Inserm (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) and a member of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Social Issues (IRIS). He was the scientific coordinator of the project MEDICI on conflict of interest in the field of medicines (French National Research Agency, 2017–2021).
  • Henri Boullier is a sociologist at CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) and a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute in Social Sciences (IRISSO). His research focuses on the power relationships at play in health and environmental policies, in particular concerning industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
  • Jean-Paul Gaudillière is historian of science, Senior Researcher at Inserm (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) and Professor at EHESS (School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences). His recent work focuses on the history of pharmaceutical innovation and the dynamics of health globalization.
  • Hélène Michel is a political scientist, Professor at the University of Strasbourg, a member of the Institut Universitaire de France, and of the SAGE laboratory (Societies, Actors and Government in Europe). She has worked on interest groups, lobbying, and transparency policies in the European Union.

Table of contents

Introduction: Conflict of Interest and the Politics of Biomedicine

Boris Hauray, Henri Boullier, Jean-Paul Gaudillière and Hélène Michel

Part 1. Knowledge and Expertise

1. A Genealogy of Conflict of Interest

Boris Hauray

2. "Conflict of Interest" or Simply "Interest"? Shifting Values in Translational Medicine

Melanie Jeske

3. Managing Conflicts of Interest at the European Medicines Agency: Success or Weakness of the Soft Law Tools?

Annie Martin

4. From the Management of Conflicts of Interest to the Transformation of Medical Experts’ Profiles. The Members of the Transparency Committee in France (2000–2020)

Jérôme Greffion and Hélène Michel

Part 2. Physicians and the Framing of Prescription Practices

5. Conflicts of Interest in Medical Practice: Causes and Cures

Marc Rodwin

6. In Whose Best Interest? Framing Pharmacists’ and Physicians’ (Conflicts of) Interest in the French Market for Generic Drugs

Etienne Nouguez

7. The Politics of Industrial Transparency. Constructing a Database on the Pharmaceutical Funding of the Health Sector

Henri Boullier and Jérôme Greffion

8. Scientific Marketing and Conflict of Interest: Lessons From the Hormone Replacement Therapies (HRT) Crisis

Jean-Paul Gaudillière

Part 3. Mobilizations and Controversies

9. "This Corporation Has ‘Anesthetized’ the Actors in the Drug Chain". Influence Peddling and the Normality of Conflicts of Interest in the Mediator® Scandal

Solène Lellinger and Christian Bonah

10. For Science, by Science. The Emergence and Circulation of Conflict of Interest as a Protest Repertoire to Fight Against Pesticides

Giovanni Prete, Jean-Noël Jouzel and François Dedieu

11. Conflict of interest, Capture, Production of Ignorance, and Hegemony: Conceptualizing the Influence of Corporate Interests on Public Health

Henri Boullier, Jean-Paul Gaudillière, Boris Hauray and Emmanuel Henry

Postface: Conflict of Interest, Industry Hegemony and Key Opinion Leader Management

Sergio Sismondo


Conflict of Interest and Medicine

Knowledge, Practices, and Mobilizations

Sorbonne Paris Nord

Bâtiment Recherche Sud
5 cours des Humanités
93322 Aubervilliers cedex

UFR SMBH 74 rue Marcel Cachin, 93017 Bobigny cedex



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