Allied Against Reform: Pharmaceutical Industry-Physician Relations in the United States, 1945-1970

Dominique A. Tobbell, Chemical Heritage Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science, Regional Colloquium

Friday, March 28, 2008 - 10:45pm

Location: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
(directions) Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m., with social hour and light dinner afterward Your RSVP to {encode="" title=""} would be appreciated. Abstract: During the 1960s, the drug industry was the subject of two congressional investigations into its business practices and pricing policies, and in 1962, passage of the Drug Amendments mandated greater FDA authority over pharmaceutical development. In this article, Tobbell examines the industry’s efforts to circumvent these political challenges by drawing on its long-standing relationship with academic physicians and the American Medical Association. Utilizing the medical profession’s shared concern about expanding government oversight over therapeutic practice, the industry called on academic physicians to join forces with them and establish an expert advisory body to guide government officials on pharmaceutical policy. Drawing on research in the archives of the University of Pennsylvania and the National Academy of Sciences, and a careful reading of the trade and biomedical literature and congressional documents, Tobbell argues that by positioning themselves as pharmaceutical experts, this industry-academic alliance gave industry a seat at the policy table and enabled them to challenge the efforts of pharmaceutical reformers to further increase the government’s role in drug development. Download event poster in PDF format. This event is made possible by the generous support of the American Philosophical Society, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Hagley Museum and Library, the Department of History at Princeton University, and the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.