Medical professionals' agency and pharmaceuticalization: Physician-industry relations in Russia

E. Borozdina, O. Zvonareva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


In the contemporary world pharmaceuticals have become a go-to answer to a growing number of questions. This process of pharmaceuticalization gives rise to a concern with the increasing influence of the pharmaceutical industry on physicians' decision-making. Critics suggest that companies' for-profit-interests might compromise the integrity of medical practice. This article employs qualitative research methodology to explore how Russian physicians deal with the industry's efforts to expand and shape the use of pharmaceuticals. By bridging perspectives of social studies of science and sociology of professions, we offer a contextualized account of physicians' daily practices and interpretations related to pharmaceuticalization. The findings question conventional assumptions of physician-industry relations and allow to delineate a new form of medical professionalism that emerges in the context of pharmaceuticalization and cannot be reduced to either "resisting" industry marketing activities or "giving in" to them and thus corrupting biomedical expertise. Instead, the ways in which physicians navigate abundant sources of knowledge and use industry resources to overcome constraints of their organizational environment attest to mundane forms of agency exercised by physicians in their relations with industry.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalHealth: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Aug 2022


  • agency
  • industry
  • knowledge
  • medical professionalism
  • pharmaceuticalization
  • WORK

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