Research Commons

The debate about the funding of Herceptin: A case study of ‘countervailing powers’

Research Commons

Show simple item record Gabe, Jon Chamberlain, Kerry Norris, Pauline Dew, Kevin Madden, Helen Hodgetts, Darrin 2012-10-11T03:53:15Z 2012-10-11T03:53:15Z 2012-09 2012
dc.identifier.citation Gabe, J., Chamberlain, K., Norris, P., Dew, K., Madden, H., & Hodgetts, D. (2012). The debate about the funding of Herceptin: A case study of ‘countervailing powers’. Social Science & Medicine, 75 (12), 2353-2361. en_NZ
dc.identifier.issn 0277-9536
dc.description.abstract In December 2008 the newly elected Prime Minister of New Zealand bypassed the agency that negotiates with manufacturers about the cost of medicines and agreed to fund Herceptin for women with early stage breast cancer for a twelve months course of treatment. This paper describes the unfolding of this decision and seeks to explain it in terms of the theory of countervailing powers, which has recently been applied to understand the rapid growth of medicines and the governance of the pharmaceutical industry. We explore the role of various actors in this debate about Herceptin funding, drawing on documentary analysis based on a systematic search of journals, websites and media databases. The case of Herceptin both confirms and questions the propositions of countervailing powers theory. On the one hand the manufacturers of the drug proved to be highly influential in their attempts to get Herceptin funded and were generally supported by consumer groups. On the other hand some scientists and regulators attempted to challenge the power of the manufacturers, with the regulators not showing signs of corporate bias as one might expect. Groups did not, as has been proposed, exert power monolithically, with several groups exhibiting opposing factions. The media, ignored in this literature, are considered as a potential countervailing force in the debate. In the end the government bypassed the recommendation of its regulators, thereby undermining the latter's efforts to act as a countervailing power. en_NZ
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Elsevier en_NZ
dc.relation.ispartof Social Science & Medicine
dc.subject Countervailing powers en_NZ
dc.subject Health consumer groups en_NZ
dc.subject Herceptin en_NZ
dc.subject Media en_NZ
dc.subject Medication controversies en_NZ
dc.subject New Zealand en_NZ
dc.subject Pharmaceutical companies en_NZ
dc.subject Regulators en_NZ
dc.title The debate about the funding of Herceptin: A case study of ‘countervailing powers’ en_NZ
dc.type Journal Article en_NZ
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.09.009 en_NZ
pubs.elements-id 38065

Full-text options:

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record


Advanced Search



About Research Commons

My Account

Usage Statistics


  • Bookmark and Share