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Charles M Mather


Recombinant DNA, technical efficiency, organizational efficiency, anthropology


This paper outlines and illustrates the working of a theoretical approach from the social sciences for analyzing medical innovation, unmet medical need, and the drug pipeline. Using the social history of three drugs made from recombinant DNA (insulin, human growth hormone, and tissue-plasminogen activator) the paper shows how drugs can be both technically and organizationally efficient while the needs  they  satisfy  can  be  created  or  identified.  The  paper  posits  that  drugs  that  require  more organizational efficiency tend to satisfy identified, rather then created needs.

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