National Security Rationales are Intensifying the Pharmaceuticalization of Society


In the name of national security, governments are increasingly playing central roles in the “pharmaceuticalization” of society, according to a paper in Social Science and Medicine.

Written by scholars from the Centre for Global Health Policy at the University of Sussex, the research report describes recent developments in health policies being taken by many national governments motivated by security concerns.

“Whilst the pivotal role of industry is extensively documented, this article shows that governments too are accelerating, intensifying
and opening up new trajectories of pharmaceuticalization in society,” the researchers wrote. “Governments are becoming more deeply invested in pharmaceuticals because their national security strategies now aspire to defend populations against health-based threats like bioterrorism and pandemics.”

Aside from stockpiling “medical countermeasures,” governments are “marshaling the state’s unique powers to introduce exceptional measures in the name of protecting national security.” The researchers identified five “extraordinary policy interventions.” Governments are creating customized pathways for pharmaceutical companies to bypass normal drug regulatory approval processes and are granting comprehensive legal protections to pharmaceutical companies against injury compensation claims, the authors wrote. Governments are also “instantiating extraordinary emergency use procedures allowing for the use of unapproved medicines,” and are “designing innovative logistical distribution systems for mass drug administration outside of clinical settings.” And finally, the authors noted, governments are earmarking large amounts of public funds for all this.

All of these efforts, the authors argued, “are spawning a new, government-led and quite exceptional medical countermeasure regime operating beyond the conventional boundaries of pharmaceutical development and regulation.”

The article is part of a special issue of Social Science and Medicine focusing on the pharmaceuticalization of society.

Elbe, Stefan, Anne Roemer-Mahler, and Christopher Long. “Medical Countermeasures for National Security: A New Government Role in the Pharmaceuticalization of Society.” Social Science & Medicine 131 (April 2015): 263–71. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.04.035. (Full text)


  1. So, in the event of a completely unforeseen act of terror, they can drug their own populace? There’s a lot of quotes with key politcal terms, but there’s no logic in this. As horrific as they are, a school shooting hardly constitutes a threat to national security. So are they just making excuses to stockpile drugs?

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    • As I observe the Therapeutic State it’s biggest oligarchs and profiteers desire the population to accept injections, vaccines , drugs ,whatever they say, ( whether they are truly beneficial is irrelevant as long as they are perceived to be) with the greatest confidence basically without questions on short notice, on any pretense, from the cradle to the grave , delivered by the usual cast of employees , the high priesthood of medical doctors, psychiatrists,social workers , dentists and their assistants, all aided by modern doctored up, chemical laden , and genetically modified food production basically unregulated, and environmental non protection for ever increasing profits. The powerful are afraid the people will wake up to the vast comprehensiveness of the crimes perpetrated upon them ,which makes the powerful even more insatiable in there desire to control etc the population and everything else. The powerful fear retaliation even as they scramble to their various luxurious well supplied and high security hideouts. To relieve their stress they always seek another level of control all in an ongoing circle until .

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  2. In the name of national security, governments are increasingly playing central roles in the “pharmaceuticalization” of society, according to a paper in Social Science and Medicine.

    This is really scary stuff. I guess the next step is probably something like ‘medical counter insurgency’. Conform, or be labeled, imprisoned, and drugged. You think 1984 was bad, just wait, that was nothing compared to what the feds, in league with the big conglomerates, have in store for you. If you aren’t working for the state department, you must be a traitor, a terrorist, and a “sick” person. You want BIG GOVERNMENT, do you? Sure, work for it, or else…and that or else is to sign on the dotted line under your confession to intentional acts of treason, terrorism, and pathological maladjustment. It’s that novel that Kafka didn’t write, but that he was getting around to, The Hospital. They don’t need any damaged organs when they can damage your brain with the drugs they use to bring on a dreary and persistent somnolence.

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