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Light, D.W.

Light, D.W.

Donald Light, born in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, in 1942. Ph.D. from Brandeis University, Waltham. Professor of Social Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Fellow (1 September 2006 – 30 June 2007)


The welcoming and helpful staff at NIAS created a community of scholars in which I was able to research historical and contemporary aspects of the tacit social contract between the pharmaceutical industry and advanced capitalist societies. Basic tension surrounds treating medicines as a social good or as a commodity. The NIAS library helped me obtain and read about 180 books and articles. I barely left the grounds. The result so far include four reviews or chapters and five articles into leading journals that analyze specific trends in distributive justice, commercialized medical science, and an institutional syndrome that maximizes risks of serious adverse events to patients by new medicines that usually offer little therapeutic benefit over existing ones. Work on a book in draft will continue. Many new relations with Dutch colleagues blossomed, leading to a joint project with one and new funded research in the coming year.

Facts and myths about drug development [application/vnd.ms-powerpoint] (245 KB)