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Contested KnowledgeScience, Media, and Democracy in Kerala$
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Shiju Sam Varughese

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199469123

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199469123.001.0001

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Public Regulation of Science

Public Regulation of Science

Clinical Trials at the Regional Cancer Centre

(p.77) 4 Public Regulation of Science
Contested Knowledge

Shiju Sam Varughese

Oxford University Press

The chapter discusses how an internal conflict between two groups of researchers within the Regional Cancer Centre at Thiruvananthapuram in the context of clinical trials triggered a public controversy on the regulation of drug research. The credibility of the cancer research institute was at stake, and the public trust on the researchers deteriorated. The chapter demonstrates how the trust in the scientific community has been regained and the credibility of the institute restored through a complex deliberative process wherein media institutions, scientists, health activists, government officials and national regulatory bodies participated. The involvement of the Johns Hopkins University, USA, in the clinical trials triggereda debate on the changing dynamics of drug research in the neoliberal context. The controversy was one of the earliest of its kind which alerted the medical research community and policy makers about the escalating commercial interests in the drugs and pharmaceuticals sector in India.

Keywords:   biomedicine, civic culture of policy making, clinical trials, contract research organization (CRO), drug research, ethics of research, neoliberal science, patients’ rights, regulatory science

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