“Social Lives of Poly-Pharmacy” Online Seminar, 17 June 2021

Social Lives of Poly-Pharmacy

Online seminar, 17 June 2021, 14.00-16.35 (UK time), 15.00-17.35 (CET)
Organized by the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen
Zoom: register here

Polypharmacy, or the use of multiple medicines, is one of the most pressing challenges facing healthcare systems, professionals and patients alike. The phenomenon is driven by many factors, including shifting demographics, growing multi-morbidity, increasing socio-economic inequality, a disease-specific, market-driven approach to health and the imperative of risk reduction. Since pharmaceuticals are among the most common line of treatment for some of the most prevalent chronic conditions including depression, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, reflux disease and more, the use of multiple medicines by a growing number of individuals has become commonplace. In this seminar, speakers will explore the social lives of poly-pharmacy with a focus on the everyday prescribing practices that sustain it, the forms of chronic living that it engenders as well as its often harmful consequences in the form of polyiatrogenesis.

14:00-14:05         Introduction, Professor MSO Ayo Wahlberg, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

14:05-14:30         “Polypharmacy: entangled emotions”, Research Associate Nina Fudge, Institute of Population Health Sciences (IPHS), Queen Mary University of London

14:30-14:55         “A medical anthropology of multimorbidity in India”, Senior Lecturer Stefan Ecks, School of Social and Political Science, Edinburgh University

14:55-15:20         “Polypharmacy: an expression of epistemic injustice”, Professor Deborah Swinglehurst, Institute of Population Health Sciences, Queen Mary University of London


15:30-15:55         “Pharma-induced care relationships: Medicines and home care in Denmark”, Postdoc Sofie Rosenlund Lau, Department of Publich Health, University of Copenhagen

15:55-16:20         “The Secret Economies of Borrelia: Do-It-Yourself Healthcare in Lyme Disease in Scotland”, Postgraduate Researcher Ritti Sonnco, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh

16:20-16:35         Plenary discussion

16:35                        Close

Social Lives of Poly-Pharmacy Flyer