Medical applications of Nano-scale technologies: What Impact on Marginalized communities?
September 18, 2006
Issue: Medical applications of nano-scale technologies have the potential to revolutionize healthcare by delivering powerful tools for diagnosing and treating disease at the molecular level. But the current zeal for nano-enabled medicines could divert scarce medical R&D funds away from essential health services and direct resources away from non-medical aspects of community health and wellbeing. Although nanomedicine is being touted as a solution to pressing health needs in the global South, it is being driven from the North and is designed primarily for wealthy markets. Using nano-scale technologies, the pharmaceutical industry’s ultimate goal is to make every person a patient and every patient a paying customer by “medicating” social ills with human performance enhancement (HyPE) drugs and devices. Nanoenabled HyPEs could usher in an era of two-tiered humans – Homo sapiens and Homo sapiens 2.0.
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