Victor RoyFeb 17, 2023
Capitalizing a Cure
How Finance Controls the Price and Value of Medicines
Univ of California Press 2023
Capitalizing a Cure: How Finance Controls the Price and Value of Medicines (U California Press, 2023) takes readers into the struggle over a medical breakthrough to investigate the power of finance over business, biomedicine, and public health. When curative treatments for hepatitis C launched in 2013, sticker shock over their prices intensified the global debate over access to new medicines. Weaving historical research with insights from political economy and science and technology studies, Victor Roy demystifies an oft-missed dynamic in this debate: the reach of financialized capitalism into how medicines are made, priced, and valued.
Roy’s account moves between public and private labs, Wall Street and corporate board rooms, and public health meetings and health centers to trace the ways in which curative medicines became financial assets dominated by strategies of speculation and extraction at the expense of access and care. Provocative and sobering, this book illuminates the harmful impact of allowing financial markets to determine who heals and who suffers and points to the necessary work of building more equitable futures.
Rachel Pagones is an acupuncturist, educator, and author based in Cambridge, England.