Over het boek:
Despite growing concern about the flooding of the Third World with Western pharmaceuticals, little is known about the ways local people perceive and use these products. This book is an attempt to remedy this situation: eighteen studies reveal how Western medicines are circulated and understood in the cities and rural areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The first section of the book deals with medicines as commodities that are produced, sold and consumed. The roles of drug company salesmen, pharmacists, street vendors, and 'traditional' practioners are elucidated. Detailed descriptions show how potentially dangerous drugs are exchanged and used outside professional control.
The second section examines the meaning of medicines. Western pharmaceuticals are understood in terms of local medical cultures. Their foreign allure and 'high-tech' modes of packing and application (capsules, injections) imbue them with special power and efficacy.
This book maps out a new approach to the study of pharmaceuticals. Its findings have practical implications for health care in developing countries, and they raise fresh analytical issues for students of medicine and society.