A pill for every ill?: Dialogues on drug practices, possibilities and harms – 2-4pm, 25 October 2018

A pill for every ill?: Dialogues on drug practices, possibilities and harms – 2-4pm, 25 October 2018


The Humanities, Social Sciences and Medicine network at Monash invites you to an expert panel on the pharmaceuticalisation of twenty-first century health care practices, to be held 2-4pm, 25 October 2018.

The production, promotion and consumption of drug treatments are significant to economies across the globe. It is argued that prescription and over-the-counter medications figure so prominently in health care that, for many, good health is no longer assumed possible without the involvement of swallowed, sprayed, absorbed and injected substances. Drugs offer possibilities not only to treat illness but to enhance physical and mental capacities. It is also axiomatic that medicines have side effects – some minor and some significant – and the risk of iatrogenic illness is important to clinical practice and public policy. The WHO, for example, has acknowledged the need to encourage pharmaceutical markets and scientific development in harmony with the regulation of health harms. The over-, under- and misuse of psychoactive treatments and antibiotics are major challenges to health care, leading, in the case of antimicrobial resistance, to major threats to everyday medicine. Online access to prescription and drugs is decentring the role of medical experts and troubling the collection of data regarding illness and its treatment. In health care for companion animals, psychoactive medications like Prozac are used to modulate mood.

Our interdisciplinary panel of keynote speakers from medical anthropology, history of medicine and addiction studies will address pharmaceuticalisation with reference to: the iatrogenesis of drug-resistance; drugs as magical and commonplace; mid-twentieth century troubles for drug regulation; the delivery of overdose prevention pharmacy and its implications for the lives of drug users.

Please see this flyer for further details of speakers. Register here by 22 Oct 2018.