- The urgency of pharmaceutical anthropology: a multilevel perspective
- Volume | Issue number
- 34 | 1+2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The anthropology of medicines is an intriguing study field: medicines constitute a nexus of social and
cultural processes including knowledge, symbols and beliefs, politics, profit-making, trust and conflict. In dealings with medicines culture and society are caught red-handed as it were. But pharmaceutical anthropology is more than an academic fascination; it addresses urgent concerns of harrowing inequality in health and health care. Problems of health and suffering are commonly related to use, non-use and misuse of medication. In order to improve conditions of access to and use of medicine we need to understand the underlying processes that lead to these problems. I will present and discuss the multilevel perspective as a tool to come to grips with these processes.
The recent introduction of antiretroviral medicines to resource-poor populations underscores the urgency of this perspective.
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