Contraceptive Risk: The FDA, Depo-Provera, and the Politics of Experimental Medicine

Contraceptive Risk: The FDA, Depo-Provera, and the Politics of Experimental Medicine

by William Green

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The story of Depo-Provera joins the national struggle over the drug's FDA approval to the state legal issues raised by its contraceptive and criminal justice uses.

Depo-Provera is known as an injectable hormonal birth control method, but few are familiar with its dark and complicated history. Depo-Provera was tested on women since the mid-1960s without their informed consent until it was FDA-approved in 1992, but never FDA-approved as chemical castration for male sex offenders.

Contraceptive Risk is William Green's landmark study of Depo-Provera. Based on a fascinating combination of archival materials and interviews, the book is framed as three interconnected stories told by Judith Weisz, who chaired the FDA's Public Board of Inquiry on Depo-Provera, a scientific court; by Anne MacMurdo who brought a products liability suit against Upjohn, the drug's manufacturer, for the deleterious side effects she suffered from the drug's use; and by Roger Gauntlett, an Upjohn heir who, when he was convicted of sexual assault, refused to take a dose of his family's own medicine as a probation condition. Together these three stories of Depo-Provera's convoluted fifty year odyssey call for a paradigm shift in pharmaceutical drug development.
Contraceptive Risk is a thoroughly researched and engrossing approach to the scientific, political and institutional forces involved in health law and policy, as well as the multifaceted politics of measuring risk.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479891320
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Series: Biopolitics , #12
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
File size: 525 KB

About the Author

William Green is Professor of Government at Morehead State University in Kentucky, where he teaches constitutional law and comparative politics. His research and publications explore constitutional and civil liberties issues and the political and legal dimensions of economic development, labor relations, language rights, and pharmaceutical drug policies.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

Note to the Reader xiii

Introduction: The Odyssey of Depo-Provera 1

1 The Grady Hospital Study: The Corruption of Contraceptive Research 15

2 The Twenty-Five-Year FDA Approval Controversy: Cancer and the Politics of Acceptable Risk 45

3 Contraceptive Chaos: Unapproved Use and Upjohn v. MacMurdo 83

4 Marketing Approval and Litigation: Osteoporosis and the Realities of Medical Risk 129

5 Chemical Castration: The Johns Hopkins Clinic and People v. Gauntlett 169

Conclusion: Contraceptive Drug Risk Failure, Human Dignity, and a Duty to Act 213

Glossary of Legal and Medical Terms 229

Notes 239

Index 305

About the Author 322

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