Dr. Greene is broadly interested in the history of therapeutics—especially pharmaceuticals—and his research explores the ways in which our cures and remedies come to influence our understandings of what it means to be sick or healthy, normal or abnormal.
He is currently working on a history of generic drugs. Generic drugs are never fully identical to the brand name products they imitate. Rather, their claims of being “the same” lie in proof that they are similar enough in ways that matter to be functionally interchangeable. As the market for generic substitutes has grown—from only 10 percent of the American pharmaceutical market in 1960 to nearly 80 percent by 2010—so too have epistemological and epidemiological conflicts over how one can prove that generics are truly equivalent to their brand-name counterparts. These conflicts over generic drugs reveal fundamental conflicts over what it means to practice rational medicine, and what role consumers, physicians, insurers and others should have in defining that rationality.
Dr. Greene’s broader research interests focus on the history of disease, the history of global health and the relationship between medicine and the marketplace.
- Jones DS, Podolsky SH, Greene JA. “The burden of disease and the changing task of medicine.” N Engl J Med. 2012 Jun 21;366(25):2333-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1113569.
- Greene JA. “The Afterlife of the Prescription: Sciences of Therapeutic Surveillance.” Prescribed: Writing, Filling, Using, and Abusing Prescriptions in Modern America. Eds. Jeremy A. Greene and Elizabeth S. Watkins. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012. Print.
- Greene JA. “What's in a name? Generics and the persistence of the pharmaceutical brand in American medicine.” J Hist Med Allied Sci. 2011 Oct;66(4):468-506. doi: 10.1093/jhmas/jrq049. Epub 2010 Sep 21.
- Greene JA. “Regulating Drugs, Regulating Disease: Diabetes, Consumerism, and the Tolbutamide Crisis, 1969-1984.” Making Drugs: Ways of Regulating in Factories, Laboratories, and Consulting Rooms. Eds. Jean-Paul Gaudilliere and Volker Hess. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 122-136. Print.
- Greene JA. “Making medicines essential: the evolving role of pharmaceuticals in global health.” BioSocieties. 2011;6:10-33.
- Greene JA, Kesselheim AS. “Why do the same drugs look different? Pills, trade dress, and public health.” N Engl J Med. 2011 Jul 7;365(1):83-9. doi: 10.1056/NEJMhle1101722.
- Daemmrich A, Greene JA. “From Visible Harm to Relative Risk: Overcoming Fragmented Pharmacovigilance.” The Fragmentation of U.S. Health Care: Causes and Solutions. Ed. E. Elhage. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2010. 301-323. Print.
- Greene JA, Podolsky SH. “Keeping modern in medicine: pharmaceutical promotion and physician education in postwar America.” Bull Hist Med. 2009 Summer;83(2):331-77. doi: 10.1353/bhm.0.0218.
- Greene JA. “The Abnormal and the Pathological: Cholesterol, Statins, and the Threshold of Disease.” Medicating Modern America: Pharmaceutical Drugs in History. Eds. Andrea Tone and Elizabeth Watkins. New York: New York University Press, 2007. 183-228. Print.