The Right to Try

“Right to Try” (Again): A history of the experimental therapy movement

 

In recent weeks and months, momentum has increased on Capitol Hill to craft “right to try” laws that would profoundly change the medical landscape. The national legislation will allow terminally ill patients more access to experimental therapies (drugs, biologics, devices) that have completed Phase 1 testing. Powerful pharmaceutical and biotech concerns have been largely quiet. The Trump administration, for its part, has underlined the issue, not only in the State of the Union Address but in VP Mike Pence’s active support.

Critics in academia and medical circles argue that the proposed “right to try” legislation would undermine public health and circumvent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight, while supporters argue that severely ill patients ought to have more freedoms to take experimental pharmaceutical products. Current reportage of the movement has rightfully referenced the HIV epidemic, the film Dallas Buyers Club (2013), and the drive for improved access to unapproved drugs in the 1980s. However, these are not the only ways to view contemporary deliberations about the nation’s drug regulatory architecture.

The right to try movement – and any legislation – embody long-standing struggles about the most appropriate treatment for public and individual health. These struggles have pitted mainstream medical practitioners against interlopers, and regulators against drug companies.  Compassionate language about desperate patients with few options has run alongside intense legal wrangling, consumer activism, and prolonged discussions about the validity of medico-scientific data.

THE FULL POST CAN BE FOUND HERE

 

And a song called ‘Try Again’!

 

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New article: Mental health and the patient politics of subsidiarity in Scotland

h-madness

The article “From associations to action: mental health and the patient politics of subsidiarity in Scotland” by Mark Gallagher might be of interest to h-madness readers. It was published on 27 March 2018 in Palgrave Communications 4.

The abstract reads:

In times of economic hardship public mental healthcare suffers a double disservice. On the one hand, it faces a diminution of existing resource, and on the other, it is met with vastly increased demand. The damage done to already hard-pressed public services during economic crises is often most keenly felt by those at the receiving end of statutory health and welfare provisions. When public services are deemed by its principal recipients to be no longer fit for purpose, it is unsurprising that they, along with others, look to agencies other than the state to meet their needs. In the final year of the 1970s, a decade in which Great…

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Supple bodies, healthy minds: yoga, psychedelics and American mental health

Supple bodies, healthy minds: yoga, psychedelics and American mental health
Abstract.
Much discussion about mental health has revolved around treatment models. As interdisciplinary scholarship has shown, mental health knowledge, far from being a neutral product detached from the society that generated it, was shaped by politics, economics and culture. By drawing on case studies of yoga, religion and fitness, this article will examine the ways in which mental health practices—sometimes scientific, sometimes spiritual—have been conceived, debated and applied by researchers and the public. More specifically, it will interrogate the relationship between yoga, psychedelics, South Asian and Eastern religion (as understood and practiced in the USA) and mental health.

The full article can be read here.

 

Publishing your PhD (or, the secret to a stressful life): Part I

A very thoughtful and poignant read!

The Clinic

In January, the monograph of my PhD was published. The process was neither short nor smooth, but it was a great learning curve. Now that the book is on the shelves, I can reflect on the experience with a certain equanimity. The finished product looks great (we’ll overlook a few minor typos and the suppurating syphilitic sores on the front cover). But at the time, my feelings oscillated between bemusement and exasperation.

My commissioning editor was wonderfully supportive throughout the whole, chaotic process, as were the series editors, Professor Michael Worboys and Professor Carsten Timmerman. But as I gear up for another book, I find myself reflecting on what I shall do differently. I hope my experiences will help other ECRs who are starting to think about publishing their own doctoral research.

The Book Proposal

It may seem obvious, but, before approaching a publisher, reconnoitre the terrain. Take stock of the books recently published in your…

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This is what precarity feels like: Early Career Researchers and “cruel optimism”

Extremely powerful!

All the Single Writing Ladies

The AHRC defines of “Early Career Researchers” (ECRs) as individuals “within eight years of the award of their PhD […] or within six years of their first academic appointment.” In practice, ECRs are a highly heterogeneous demographic comprising individuals in a range of employment circumstances, from hourly paid contracts and fixed term fellowships, to permanent roles. In this write-up of a paper I gave at the MeCCSA annual conference, I draw out some of the key themes arising from research on recent Arts and Humanities PhD graduates, individuals who often find themselves precariously employed.

In my research on Arts and Humanities researchers (published here), ECR respondents reported that their post-PhD career transitions were extremely challenging, for example using words like “tricky”, “tough”, or “emotionally dispiriting”.

In a nutshell, post-PhD transitions are characterised by:

  • Exploitative contracts (e.g. fractional, fixed term, zero hours, etc,)
  • ECRs conducting research unpaid, reliance on…

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Radical Health

Bill Booth kindly invited me on to his podcast to discuss health and medicine. Bill is one of the founders of Radical Americas, an academic network for scholars and activists with interests in radicalism in the Western Hemisphere.

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New Editors at Social History of Alcohol and Drugs

The ADHS is pleased to announce that the editorship of its journal, *The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs*, will be taken over by Prof. Nancy D. Campbell (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Prof. David Herzberg (Buffalo) and Dr. Lucas Richert (Strathclyde). The society would also like to express its gratitude for the work that outgoing editor, […]

via New editors for SHAD — Alcohol and Drugs History Society

ADHS 2019

The ADHS is excited to announce that its next bi-annual conference will be held between 12 and 15 June 2019, at the David F. Musto Center for Drug Policy Studies, Shanghai University, China. The conference will be organised by Prof. Jim Mills, of the University of Strathclyde and Prof. Yong-an Zhang of Shanghai University, who […]

via ADHS conference at Shanghai, 12-15 June 2019 — Alcohol and Drugs History Society

Connect with ADHS at AHA 2018 in Washington, D.C.! — Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Today, historians begin descending upon wintry Washington, D.C., for the 2018 meeting of the American Historical Association. AHA is the largest annual gathering for such professionals and their affiliated societies. Among those represented again this year is the Alcohol and Drugs History Society, with two panels of original research and one roundtable discussion. The date, […]

via Connect with ADHS at AHA 2018 in Washington, D.C.! — Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Big Pharma Round-Up V (#Cannabis edition)

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