Corporate Interest & Public Health

Knowledge, Expertise, Markets

Corporate Interests and Public Health. Knowledge, Expertise, Markets

 Conference presentation

Over the recent decades, the influence of corporate interests – most notably from the cigarette, chemical, pharmaceutical, and food industries – on public health has attracted growing concerns and public attention. Within this context, one notion, that of ‘conflict of interest’ (CoI), has become widespread and used as the main lens through which this influence and its problematic consequences on the construction of scientific knowledge, on the decisions taken by public authorities, and on heath practices is approached. The MEDICI research project has, over the last three years, explored how conflict of interest has been understood and used in the field of medicine with what kinds of responses. It has also aimed at understanding the effects of this problematization on the ways in which the various actors involved in the sector perform an organize their activities. This final conference will gather presentations laying out the main results of the MEDICI project as well as invited talks from leading scholars studying corporate influence on science and regulation.

Organizing Committee: 

  • Boris Hauray (Inserm)
  • Henri Boullier (Inserm)
  • Jean-Paul Gaudillière (Inserm, EHESS)
  • Hélène Michel (Université de Strasbourg)



-13h30-14h Introduction by Boris Hauray (Inserm), scientific coordinator of the MEDICI project


- 14h-15h Sergio Sismondo (Queen’s University) “Big Pharma’s Invisible Hands”


- 15h15-17h15Panel #1 – Corporate Influence on the Production of Scientific Knowledge

Chair: Catherine Bourgain (Inserm)

  • Jill Fisher (UNC-Chapel Hill) “Investigating the Inherent Conflicts of Interest in Commercial Phase I Trials”.
  • David Demortain (INRA) “The Pharmaceutical Industry and the Production of Regulatory Knowledge. Exploring the Systemic Determinants of Conflicts of Interests”.
  • Melanie Jeske (UCSF) Conflict of Interest’ or Simply ‘Interest’? Shifting Values in Translational Medicine.
  • Boris Hauray (Inserm) “Publishing Impure Science. The Politics of Conflict of Interest in Medical Journals”.


10 DECEMBER 2019

- 9h15-10h15 Marc Rodwin (Suffolk University) “Conflicts of Interest in Medicine-Causes and Cures”


- 10h30-12h30 Panel #2 – Regulatory Expertise and Agencies

Chair: Daniel Benamouzig (CNRS)

  • Nathalie Jas (INRA) “Industry Quiet Power. Shaping WHO/FAO Food Additives and Contaminants Expert Committees' Work in the Post-WWII period”.
  • Annie Martin (CNRS) “Conflict of Interest and European Law. The European Medicines Agency's case”.
  • Jérôme Greffion (Université Paris 10) & Hélène Michel (Université de Strasbourg) “Medical Experts at work in a Committee of the French National Authority for Health”.


- 14h-17h Panel #3 – Physicians and Medical Practices

Chair: Maurice Cassier (CNRS)

  • Volker Hess (Charité) “Clinical Trials, Evidence-Based Medicine and the Pharmaceutical Industry”.
  • Jean-Paul Gaudillière (Inserm/EHESS) “Scientific Marketing and Conflict of Interest. Lessons from the Hormone Replacement Therapies Crisis”.
  • Etienne Nouguez (CNRS) “Fighting over Generic Medicines. Struggles between Pharmaceutical Companies to Influence the Prescriptions of French Doctors and Pharmacists”.
  • Henri Boullier (Inserm) & Jérôme Greffion (Université Paris 10) “The Materiality of Transparency. Constructing a Database on Physicians Funding


11 DECEMBER 2019

 - 9h15-10h15 – Lisa Cosgrove (University of Massachusetts Boston) “Institutional Corruption in Psychiatry and Solutions for Reform”


- 10h30-12h – Panel #4 – Critiques, mobilizations and affairs

Chair: Sezin Topçu (CNRS)

  • Christian Bonah & Solène Lellinger (Université de Strasbourg) “‘This Corporation has ‘Anaesthetized’ the Actors in the Drug Chain’. Influence Peddling and the Normality of Conflict of Interest in the Benfluorex Case”.
  • Giovanni Prete (Université Paris 13), François Dedieu (INRA) & Jean-Noël Jouzel (CNRS) “Denouncing Pesticides in France: Conflict of Interest as a Protest Repertoire”.
  • Sébastien Dalgalarrondo (CNRS) “Patient Mobilizations and Industry Influence: from AIDS to Alzheimer”.


Sociologie et sciences politiques

Informations pratiques

  • Lundi 9 décembre 2019 - 13:30 - Mercredi 11 décembre 2019 - 13:30
  • Campus Condorcet - Centre de colloques (salle 100 )- Cours des Humanités, 93322 Aubervilliers (métro Front Populaire sortie n° 2)
01 88 12 12 91