Human Values as Normative Propositions Behind
Design of Pharmacotherapy Processes
A conversational workshop jointly sponsored by:
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, Joint Centre for Bioethics, Knowledge Media Design Institute Monday, March 12, 4:00-6:00 pm
Leslie Dan Building, 144 College St, rm B150
to be followed by reception in Leslie Dan Bldg Atrium 6:00-7:00 pm
contact: Peter Pennefather; 416-978-6607, In all sectors of society, there are calls for innovation and the re-design core processes. This calls for a design perceptive on identifying users, their needs and the elements available to be assembled in satisfactory ways to meet those needs. Holistic, integrative, conceptual approaches to exploring the ecology in which those processes function are called for. The health care sector is no different but what values should be applied in discussing what a satisfactorily design for an innovation in health care would look like. This workshop examines how human values such as intrinsic rights, public value, and social equity can be conceptualized and studied within the context the design and delivery of systems of psycho-pharmaco-therapy. The proposition to be explored is that these human values as necessary normative propositions that should guide design of pharmacotherapy, especially when it influences feelings and cognition. The plenary talk on the “Eclipse of Medical Care” by David Healy wil be preceded by brief presentations of research perspective of members and colleagues of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. These presentations will explore research strategies putting human values at the center but coming from legal (Trudo Lemmens), economic (Paul Grootendorst) and philosophical (Alison Thompson) perspectives on how such values can and should impact the design of pharmacotherapy systems and academic research exploring how these systems work. Workshop on Human Values in Pharmacotherapy Processes, Mar 12, 2012
David Healy, M.D.
Cardiff University
We live in an Evidence Based Medicine world. Almost everyone assumes this means Data Based
Medicine and that if the data point in a particular direction this should trump the values and
experience of individual doctors and produce the best outcome for patients. But there is increasing
evidence of a mismatch between the so called evidence and the real data from studies.
Pharmaceutical companies sequester clinical trial data and publish only the material that suits them.
This ‘evidence’ is then embodied in guidelines that have al but taken over clinical prescribing in a
manner comparable to the way that GPS takes over the driving of a car. As a result, both patient
and doctor are increasingly invisible in the clinical encounter and the ability of Doctors to Care is
being lost. More to the point, adverse events on drugs in some areas of medicine are now the
leading cause of death.
This situation hinges on the current patent laws for drugs, on the prescription only status for drugs,
and on company trials – protections that were all put in place to save us from another Thalidomide.
Treating the growing crisis in medicine will require remedies targeting one or more of these factors.
In the meantime, doctors or others need to speak up for patients who are being injured by
treatments – but increasingly this wil appear to pit us against the ‘science’ and the question for
each of us is whether we remain to take this stand or not.
Biography – David Healy

David Healy is a Professor of Psychiatry at Cardiff University. He studied medicine in University
College Dublin, Ireland, and at Cambridge University. He is a former Secretary of the British
Association for Psychopharmacology, and author of over 150 peer reviewed articles, 200 other
pieces and 20 books, including The Antidepressant Era, and The Creation of Psychopharmacology
from Harvard University Press, The Psychopharmacologists Volumes 1-3, Let Them Eat Prozac
from NYU Press, & Mania from Johns Hopkins U Press and Pharmageddon. His main areas of
research are clinical trials in psychopharmacology, the history of psychopharmacology, and the
impact of both trials and psychotropic drugs on our culture.
He has been involved as an expert witness in homicide and suicide trials involving psychotropic
drugs, and in bringing problems with these drugs to the attention of American and British regulators,
as well raising awareness of how pharmaceutical companies sell drugs by marketing diseases and
co-opting academic opinion-leaders, ghost-writing their articles.
With colleagues he has helped set up a patient adverse event reporting website –


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