search : contact us : about us : site guide : home

  University of British Columbia Press
 Search Our Catalogue
  search by subject

 UBC Press
About UBC Press
Conferences & Events
Contact Us
Media Centre
Publishing With UBC Press
Publishers Represented
Staff Directory

Forthcoming Titles
How To Order
Recent Reviews
Review Copies

 Join Our Mailing List
Sign Up
Privacy Statement
Frequent Questions
Privacy Statement
Site Guide
Website Feedback

 Featured Title
Health Advocacy, Inc.
How Pharmaceutical Funding Changed the Breast Cancer Movement
Sharon Batt  

$39.95 Hardcover
Release Date: 7/1/2017
ISBN: 9780774833844    

288 Pages


About the Book

Today, most patient groups in Canada are funded by the pharmaceutical industry, raising an important ethical question: Do alliances between patient organizations and corporate sponsors ultimately lead to policies that are counter to the public interest? In this examination of Canada’s breast cancer movement from 1990 to 2010, health activist, scholar, and cancer survivor Sharon Batt investigates the relationship between patient advocacy groups and the pharmaceutical industry – and the hidden implications of pharma funding for health policy.

Health Advocacy, Inc. dissects the alliances between the companies that sell pharmaceuticals and the individuals who use them, drawing links between neoliberalism and corporate financing, and the ensuing threat to the public health care system. Batt combines archival analysis, interviews with advocacy and industry representatives, and personal observation to reveal how a reduction in state funding drove patient groups to form partnerships with the private sector. The resulting power imbalance continues to challenge the groups’ ability to put patients’ interests ahead of those of the industry.

Batt’s conclusion is unsettling: a once-vibrant movement that encouraged democratic participation in the development of health policy now eerily echoes the demands of the pharmaceutical industry. This thorough account of the shift from grassroots advocacy to Big Pharma partnership defines the struggles and stakes of activism in public health today.

About the Author(s)

Sharon Batt is an independent scholar and adjunct professor in the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie University.

Table of Contents


"This is a powerful insider account, coupled with excellent scholarship, of Big Pharma's doings in relation to the breast cancer movement. After reading this book, the only thing I wanted was more – more information on how this work applies to other countries and to other health advocacy movements. This is a vitally important book."
– Evelyne de Leeuw, director of the Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation (CHETRE) at the University of New South Wales, Australia

"This riveting history of the breast cancer movement chronicles, analyzes, and evaluates the relationship between patient advocacy organizations and the pharmaceutical industry. The author's auto-ethnographic observations shine brilliantly, and the issues she raises should incite debate about the need for medical reform and new health policy."
– Sergio Sismondo, Professor of Philosophy, Queen's University, and co-editor of The Pharmaceutical Studies Reader

Sample Chapter

A sample chapter of this title is not available at this time. For further information, please email

Related Topics

Gender Studies
Women's Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Health Advocacy, Inc. from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

© 2001 UBC Press
2029 West Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z2
t. 604.822.5959 | f. 604.822.6083 | e.
Vancouver Web Design by Internet-Exposure