ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Insanity and Colonial Knowledge

Britain saw a significant establishment of asylums and perceptions about insanity at the end of the 18th century. Michel Foucault traced the historiography of institutional confinement and postulated that the history of madness shows the “great confinement.” Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (1973) begins by describing the exclusion and confinement of lepers in the large leper houses scattered at the periphery of European cities. The new cultural content after the renaissance changed radically, from reason and madness in the classical era, to sanity and insanity. Foucault was not telling the story of scientific progress. He instead moved towards social increment, isolation, and confinement in the madhouses during the age of reason.

India’s Domestic Pharmaceutical Firms and Their Contribution to National Innovation System-building

Domestic pharmaceutical firms continue to operate under the influence of the strategy of global integration of the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare. The link between domestic firms and public sector research organisations is the weakest link in the domestic pharmaceutical industry due to misguided policies in competence-building and innovation system-building after India accepted the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement in 1995. The government should rethink its strategies to get domestic firms to contribute to system-building activities and prioritise investment into the upgrading of processes of learning and building competence.

Is Drug Development in India Responsive to the Disease Burden?

Although the Indian pharmaceutical industry has played an important role in the development of generic medicines, it is not clear whether drug development, which is dominated by the private sector, is informed of the disease burden and public health priorities. An attempt is made to address this question by juxtaposing the therapeutic focus of the drugs approved for marketing and the new chemical entities in the pipeline with the disease burden across age groups.

Studying Contemporary Ayurveda

Power, Knowledge, Medicine: Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals at Home and in the World by Madhulika Banerjee (Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan), 2009; pp 360, Rs 795 (hardback).

Alice Stewart, MD (1906-2002): A Tribute

In her long life Alice Stewart, who died on June 23, 2002 at the age of 95, was fortunate enough to see radiation science move in her direction with official estimates of radiation risk acknowledging greater danger than previous estimates admitted.

Social Construction of Health

The science of health has been characterised by positivism and extreme rationalism, divested from its social and economic context. The use of social sciences is still confined in the prison of reductionism for with the increased interaction of the disciplines of medical sociology and psychology with health, there is a greater adherence to the quantitative method, nowhere more evident than the interaction of behaviourism to health. This, in turn, obfuscates both the causes of disease and ill health in a society and therefore, the quest for solutions. This study tries in its different sections to expose the handiwork of such deterministic sciences.
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