Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva
versão impressa ISSN 0103-7331
MENDONCA, André Luis Oliveira e CAMARGO JR, Kenneth Rochel. Medical-industrial and medical-financial complex: the epistemological and axiological sides of the balance. Physis [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.1, pp. 215-238. ISSN 0103-7331. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-73312012000100012.
In this paper we present an analysis of the issues concerning the medical-industrial complex (MIC) and medical-financial complex (MFC), inspired by the theoretical framework of the science studies. The discussion about the medical-industrial/financial complex is approached under the aegis of a dychotomic split between economic interests and social values. We intend to draw attention to the need to consider the different angles of the issue, since the mentioned notions seek to nominate a very complex type of phenomenon. In order to attain an evaluation of the problem that is at once broad and deep, we consider necessary to unearth the underlying ideas to both its epistemological and axiological aspects as well. In order to achieve this goal, we begin with a brief contextualization and reassessment of the science studies; this is followed by an equally brief review of the available literature in Portuguese pertaining to the concepts of MIF and MFC, emphasizing the recent attempts to surpass the dychotomy "economic interests versus social values"; after that we attempt to elucidate, based upon the discussion about different modes of knowledge production, the epistemological and economic background underlying the MIC; after that, we bring to the forefront some critical diagnoses of the pharmaceutical industry, drawing on the notions of social medicalization and complementary & alternative medicine (CAM); finally, we point towards an approach as broad and acute possible of a problematic that can no longer be thought of in dychotomic terms.
Palavras-chave : medical-industrial complex; medical-financial complex; economic interests; social values; epistemology; axiology; science studies.