Consumer and patient advocacy groups (PAGs) are important participants in the politics of pharmaceuticals. Yet very little is known about the precise nature and extent of their influence. It is argued in this article that PAGs fulfil a mixed role within the health system at national and transnational levels, and that they are at times fully incorporated into economic and political power structures. Their frequent dependence on pharma industry funding is of particular concern. PAGs provide a means of direct industry interaction with the final customer, thereby partially bypassing and putting additional pressure on doctors and regulators. The article presents the case for research to establish a better empirical base for discussions about the role of PAGs within contemporary neo-liberal governance structures.
Field of Research
169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified