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Message posted on 19/02/2021

4S 2021 CfP Open Panel ‘Transforming the Development & Governance of Pharmaceuticals’

Dear Colleague,

We are inviting submissions to the following panel (#195) at the next 4S conference in October 2021: ‘Transforming the Development & Governance of Pharmaceuticals

We aim to bring together scholars working on the different steps in the life of pharmaceuticals: their manufacturing, evaluation, and licensing, and how these processes may be governed and contested.

Abstract submissions are due 8 March 2021 (see details below).

Transforming the Development & Governance of Pharmaceuticals

Major changes are underway within the pharmaceutical sector that are associated with shifts in research, innovation and business models from blockbuster products intended for large patient populations to more niche products designed for smaller, more targeted populations. Innovation is underway in how drugs are being researched and developed, and how they are being manufactured, used, evaluated, licensed and paid for. While some of these changes are tied to genomics and the rise of personalized medicine, others result of patient activism and disease politics. These technical and political developments put pressure on public regulators and payers, resulting in novel forms of governance, including the use of real-world data and conditional reimbursement.

This panel builds on STS scholarship on the socio-technical production of pharmaceutical knowledge, as well as its material and biopolitical impacts. We invite papers from a range of international perspectives that critically analyze these transformations, as well as those that highlight forms of alternative pharmaceutical practices and methods that are more sustainable and offer more just and equitable access to treatments. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Forms of open pharmaceutical innovation
  • Industry dynamics and changing business models
  • Patient groups and new forms of knowledge production
  • R&D partnerships across public, not-for-profit and/or private sector
  • Drug repurposing and off-label use
  • Changing regulatory knowledge and forms of evaluation
  • Pharmaceutical pricing and access

· Novel access arrangement and alternative regulatory frameworks for coverage

  • Future health care system sustainability and social solidarity

The conference call for submissions webpage here: and the submission portal here:

Please let us know if you have any questions, and feel free to send this invitation to any other colleagues who might be interested in submitting.

On behalf of the panel organizers:

Conor Douglas (York, Toronto, Canada)

Paul Martin (Sheffield, UK)

Tineke Kleinhout-Vliek (Utrecht)

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