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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Health Advocacy, Inc.

How Pharmaceutical Funding Changed the Breast Cancer Movement

Health activist, scholar, award-winning journalist, and cancer survivor Sharon Batt investigates the relationship between patient advocacy groups and the pharmaceutical industry as well as the contentious role of pharma funding. Over the past several decades, a gradual reduction in state funding has pressured patient groups into forming private-sector partnerships. This analysis of Canada’s breast cancer movement from 1990 to 2010 shows that the resulting power imbalance undermined the groups’ ability to put patients’ interests ahead of those of the funders. A movement that once encouraged democratic participation in the development of health policy now eerily echoes the demands of the pharmaceutical industry.

396 pages

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Secret War among Patient Groups

Part 1: Canada’s Health Care System Transformed – Neoliberalism and the Erosion of the Welfare State

1 Canada’s Health Policy Landscape

2 Health Advocacy Organizations in Canada

Part 2: From Grassroots to Contestation to Partnership – The Breast Cancer Movement and Big Pharma

3 Beginnings of the Breast Cancer Movement

4 Advocacy Redefined

5 The Movement Fractures over Pharma Funding

6 Pharma Funding as the New Norm

7 Advocacy Groups and the Continuing Struggle over the Pharma-Funding Question

Conclusion: The Fight for Medicine’s Soul

Appendix: Organizations and Their Members



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