- The Nature of the Pharmaceutical Industry:
- What is the Pharmaceutical Industry?
- Regulating Corporate Medicine
- Antecedents, Origins, and the Emergence of a New Industry:
- Cells, Germs, Receptors, and Magic Bullets: From Ancient to Modern Theories of the Body, Disease, Drugs, and Drug Action
- From the Dyeing Arts to Drugs: Or Dye-making, Pharmacy, and the New Research Corporation
- Science, Business Strategy, and Growth:
- Making Hormones
- The Anti-infectives: Sulphonamide, Penicillin, and the Antibiotics
- Biotechnology, Personalisation, Precision, and the Digital Turn
- Intellectual Property in Biomedicine
- The Pharmaceutical Sector and the Public Interest:
- Prescriptions for a Healthier Pharmaceutical Industry
This book is a history of medicines and the commercial actors that make and sell them, covering the 140 years since the modern pharmaceutical industry came into being. It is written in a lively and accessible way, aiming at a general audience that combines historical narrative with fascinating case studies on drug discovery and commercialization, from the rat poison that became warfarin, to a cardiovascular treatment that was turned into Viagra. In a non-partisan way it also examines some of the less noble manifestations of corporate behavior, concluding with an agenda for reform.
It is hard to think of anything nobler than to bring to the world a medicine that saves lives. And over 140 years of history, the pharmaceutical industry has produced a range of remarkable products, albeit typically with external scientific and financial support. Making medicines is a very big and profit-driven business, and the industry does not always make the right products for the right people, or at the right prices.
The industry wields immense power over lives and economies. How has it risen to this position of dominance? Are the interests of the industry and the public in balance? What should we admire about the industry? What should we criticise and seek to change? The importance of this book lies in the fact that we are all stakeholders in this industry whether or not we own shares, so we all need answers to these questions.
Readership: The educated general public; students and academics in law and medicine (especially business law, regulation, and intellectual property), business studies and economics (especially those interested in pharmaceutical and biotechnology businesses), and various history sub-disciplines (history and philosophy of science, history of medicine, business history); biologists, life scientists, and biotechnologists in public and private sectors; medical practitioners interested in the legal, commercial and social science aspects of their work; and those concerned with access to medicines.
Reviews and Awards
"Dutfield's book is breathtaking, a history of the pharmaceutical industry since the late nineteenth century in Germany, France, Britain, and the United States in broad-stroke relationship to the sciences that undergirded it, the patent laws that encouraged it, and the regulatory systems that have governed it. The book is salted with vignettes of the industry's principal progenitors from their emergence out of the German dyestuff industry to their engagement with human genomic data. It showcases the drugs they devised ranging from hormones to antibiotics and on to the myriad products of biotechnology. Wide-ranging in its knowledge, it is rich with reflections on multiple topics, including alternative and native medicines as well as the pharmaceutical industry and the public interest. The book is authoritative, provocative, and a compellingly accessible read — in all a tour de force."
Stanley Woodward Professor Emeritus of History, History of Medicine & American Studies
"I found Prof. Dutfield's work to be truly outstanding. So I am sure this forthcoming book will be excellent as well."
Professor of the History of Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University
author: The Genealogy of a Gene: Patents, HIV/AIDS, and Race
"The Highest Design of Pure Gold is a lively and engaging history of the pharmaceutical industry that deserves a wide readership. Dutfield deftly traces the complex process through which the industry has developed over the past 140 years in terms of scientific progress, business strategy, regulation, and intellectual property law. Filled with fascinating details and compelling stories, he brings a rare depth of knowledge to the topic and, in particular, to his analysis of intellectual property and its relationship to innovation. Dutfield also offers a measured yet penetrating critique of the industry and discusses potential remedies for the widespread problems that characterize our current drug-development system. He has provided us with a valuable contribution to an incredibly important discussion."
Joseph M Gabriel
Associate Professor of the History of Medicine, Florida State University
author: Medical Monopoly: Intellectual Property Rights and the Origins of the Modern Pharmaceutical Industry
"A unique and masterful overview of the co-evolution of pharmaceuticals development and intellectual property law to the present day, over more than a century in many national contexts. There is no better source for understanding the interplay of politics, the law, the economy, and science in the medicines arena."
Professor, School of Humanities, University of New South Wales
author: Gene Jockeys: Life Science and the Rise of Biotech Expertise
"In recent years, citizens have gotten increasingly concerned that the global pharmaceutical industry is not serving them. Drug prices are far too high, and the industry seems to invest in the most potentially lucrative drugs rather than those that might help people the most. Graham Dutfield tackles this subject comprehensively by taking us on a deep and fascinating journey into the industry, unraveling its logics, assumptions, and odd quirks along the way. He invites us to imagine how it might be arranged differently, and then offers concrete ideas to help us get there and ensure that the industry truly serves the public interest. A very important read!"
Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
author: Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe
"This book is a fabulous read. I have learnt so much — it is full of facts, stories, biomedicine celebrities and references. I am sure many of us will reflect on the narratives in the book, to consider how we can accelerate the generation of many more novel and accessible medicines for patients. I believe, I as an academic must do everything possible to reduce risk, reduce costs and enable many colleagues in industry, achieve this most laudable goal."
Professor of Translational Medicine &
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Innovation, University of Oxford
"This book is a marvelous one-volume review of the history of the pharmaceutical industry. It reviews historical cases and legal and technical background, ending with a chapter prescribing policies that might lift it out of the expensive and wasteful framework into which it has devolved. There are no real villains here, just actors responding to incentives that have increasingly misaligned financial reward and legal strategy from public health outcomes."
Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University