The Professional Guinea Pig: Big Pharma and the Risky World of Human Subjects (BOK)

Roberto Abadie

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The Professional Guinea Pig documents the emergence of the professional research subject in Phase I clinical trials testing the safety of drugs in development. Until the mid-1970s, Phase I trials were conducted on prisoners. After that practice was outlawed, the pharmaceutical industry needed a replacement population and began to aggressively recruit healthy, paid subjects, some of whom came to depend on the income, earning their living by continuously taking part in these trials. Drawing on ethnographic research among self-identified "professional guinea pigs" in Philadelphia, Roberto Abadie examines their experiences and views on the conduct of the trials and the risks they assume by participating. Some of the research subjects he met had taken part in more than 80 Phase I trials. While Abadie found that the professional guinea pigs tended to believe that most clinical trials pose only a moderate health risk, he contends that the hazards presented by continuous participation, such as exposure to potentially dangerous drug interactions, are discounted or ignored by research subjects in need of money. The risks to professional guinea pigs are disregarded by the pharmaceutical industry, because it has become dependent on the routine participation of experienced research subjects. Arguing that financial incentives compromise the ethical imperative for clinical-trials subjects to freely give informed consent, Abadie confirms the need to reform policies regulating the participation of paid subjects in Phase I clinical trials.


Språk Engelsk Engelsk Innbinding Heftet
Utgitt 2010 Forfatter Roberto Abadie
Combined Academic Publishers
ISBN 9780822348238
Antall sider 216 Dimensjoner 16,4cm x 23,5cm x 1,2cm
Vekt 299 gram Leverandør Bertram Trading Ltd
Emner og form Ethical issues: scientific & technological developments