1st Edition

Living Pharmaceutical Lives

Edited By Peri Ballantyne, Kath Ryan Copyright 2021
    232 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Increasingly, pharmaceuticals are available as the solutions to a wide range of human health problems and health risks, minor and major. This book portrays how pharmaceutical use is, at once, a solution to, and a difficulty for, everyday life.

    Exploring lived experiences of people at different stages of the life course and from different countries around the world, this collection highlights the benefits as well as the challenges of using medicines on an everyday basis. It raises questions about the expectations associated with the use of medications, the uncertainty about a condition or about the duration of a medicine regimen for it, the need to negotiate the stigma associated with a condition or a type of medicine, the need to access and pay for medicines and the need to schedule medicine use appropriately, and the need to manage medicines’ effects and side effects. The chapters include original empirical research, literature review and theoretical analysis, and convey the sociological and phenomenological complexity of ‘living pharmaceutical lives’.

    This book is of interest to all those studying and researching social pharmacy and the sociology of health and illness.

    Chapter 1- Introduction: Living pharmaceutical lives

    Peri J. Ballantyne and Kath Ryan

    Chapter 2- Drugs at work: implicated in the making of the neoliberal worker

    Peri J. Ballantyne

    Chapter 3- Medicine-use narratives on the margins: managing Type-2 diabetes without medical insurance.

    Jenny Epstein

    Chapter 4 - Medicine use for severe asthma: people’s perspectives

    Daniela Eassey, Lorraine Smith, Kath Ryan and Sharon Davis

    Chapter 5-mPregnancy, urinary tract infections and antibiotics: pre-natal attachment and competing health priorities Flavia Ghouri, Amelia Hollywood and Kath Ryan

    Chapter 6- "What the medications do is that lovely four-lettered word – hope": a phenomenological investigation of older people’s lived experiences of medication use following cancer diagnosis

    Adam Pattison Rathbone

    Chapter 7- The paradox of vaccine hesitancy and refusal: public health and the moral work of motherhood.

    Alison Thompson

    Chapter 8- The pharmaceutical imaginary of heart disease: pleasant futures and problematic present

    Sofie Rosenlund Lau, Bjarke Oxlund, Anna Birna Almarsdóttir

    Chapter 9- A Shot in the Dark? Ontario Girls, Informed Consent and HPV Vaccination

    Michele J. McIntosh

    Chapter 10- Reflections on the use of antiretroviral treatment among HIV+ men who have sex with men (MSM) in Nigeria

    Abisola Balogun-Katung, Paul Bissell and Muhammad Saddiq

    Chapter 11- Opioid analgesics, stigma, shame and identity.

    Richard J. Cooper

    Chapter 12- The drama of medicines: narratives of living with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome

    Karen C. Lloyd, Paul Bissell, Kath Ryan, Peri J. Ballantyne

    Chapter 13- The (developing) pharmaceutical solution(s) to COVID-19: navigating global tensions around the distribution of therapeutics and vaccines.

    Peri J. Ballantyne, Kath Ryan and Paul Bissell

    Chapter 14- Conclusion: What of Pharmaceutical Lives?

    Peri J. Ballantyne and Kath Ryan


    Peri Ballantyne is Professor of the Department of Sociology, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, and adjunct Assistant Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A health sociologist, Peri has focused her research on employment and work as social determinants of health, and on pharmaceutical use across the life course. In her research, Peri seeks to make explicit the ways in which pharmaceuticals are subject to social, political and economic forces that influence who accesses them and to what outcome.

    Kath Ryan is Professor Emerita of the School of Pharmacy, University of Reading. She is an academic pharmacist and experienced qualitative researcher who has devoted her career, along with international colleagues, to the development of Social Pharmacy as a discipline for improved understanding of the use of medicines.

    "Understanding the greater (positive and negative) impact of pharmaceuticals on our lives (as a patient and a person) is incumbent on all health-care professionals and researchers. This is why this textbook is an excellent educational and discursive resource. I would advocate that all applied health-care professionals should make time to reflect on the impact of a key ingredient of health-care provision, medicines, on patients’ lives, as per patient experience...Social science, medical, pharmacy, and allied health-care students, professionals and researchers will benefit from perusing this text for two reasons: to fully understand the positive and negative impact that pharmaceuticals can have on patients and to acknowledge how society has altered because of this phenomenon as pharmaceuticals have ‘modified the nature and expectations of health care’." – Liz Breen, Sociology of Health and Illness

    "The editors have brought together an impressive group of authors all of whom are at the forefront of social research in health and healthcare, and I really enjoyed reading the book. The chapters illustrate how medicines use is uniquely individual depending upon the personal, social, cultural, and political contexts…This unique book will be of interest to pharmacy, other healthcare students and to researchers. It will also be a very useful text for those who teach social pharmacy and medical sociology." – Claire Anderson, Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy