Health Advocacy, Inc.
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.