5th International Conference Pharmaceutical Life Cycle

Welcome from the conference chair and the organization committee 

We are pleased to welcome you to the 5th International Conference on the Pharmaceutical Life Cycle. It is our ambition to make this conference a stimulating and exciting opportunity for international and interdisciplinary cooperation.

‘Pharmaceutical life cycle’ is a metaphor that serves as an analytical concept to study medicines as they move through different settings and are attributed different values. Pharmaceuticals have, as it were a life, that moves through different phases: their production and marketing, their prescription, their distribution through intertwined formal and informal channels, their ‘death’ through one or another form of consumption, and finally their ‘life after death’ in the form of efficacy in curing or soothing bodies. Although the term ‘pharmaceutical’ may suggest otherwise, the conference also takes an interest in other, non-biomedical, medicines.

The concept of ‘life cycle’ draws our attention to the different ‘life phases’ pharmaceuticals go through when they are manufactured, traded, prescribed and consumed. These high tech products are subsequently tokens of modern technology, merchandise, facilitators of clinical encounters and symbols of hope for the ill. Medicines - apart from offering strategies for dealing with non-wellbeing in a somatic, psychological and social sense - represent cultural ideas about health, illness and therapy. This is true for modern as well as for traditional medicines; for those who look at policy issues as well as for those who study patients, dispatchers and manufacturers.

The 5th conference presents a unique opportunity to

  • Present work on the dynamics of the pharmaceutical life cycle.
  • Share new approaches and perspectives for analyzing the conception, production, distribution, circulation, consumption and efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs.
  • Stimulate exchanges between researchers working in different settings (high- and low-income societies, within and outside medical institutions, academic and applied fields, etc.).
  • Provide a platform for exchange between researchers from biomedical, social and economic disciplines in order to consolidate interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Foster an ongoing dialogue between researchers, medical professionals, pharmacists, policy makers, managers, and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.  

Where? When?

The Conference will be held at 'De Horst' in Driebergen, the Netherlands, from 2-4 September 2013. De Horst is a lovely Dutch estate in the woods of Driebergen near the city of Utrecht. Driebergen can be reached from Amsterdam airport Schiphol by direct train via Utrecht to Driebergen in around 50 minutes or by international train to Utrecht and then local train to Driebergen. There will be a shuttle between Driebergen station and the conference centre. The estate serves organic health food, with ample choice for vegetarians. The environment invites for walking and cycling.

We look forward to seeing you in Driebergen!

Conference Chairs: Prof. dr. Anita Hardon (University of Amsterdam), Prof.dr. Sjaak van der Geest (University of Amsterdam), Prof.dr. Catherine Garnier (Université du Québec à Montreal), Prof.dr. Jean-Marie Bouchard (Université du Québec à Montreal)

For practical matters, please contact Christopher Pell (C.L.Pell@uva.nl) or Eva Vernooij (E.E.Vernooij@uva.nl)

[The illustration on the website is taken from a flipbook used for educating people in Bangladesh on essential drugs. The illustration is by Kamrun Nahar Rashid]