This paper examines the relationship between Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), the company that discovered tamoxifen, and Dr Craig Jordan, who played a major part in its success as a breast cancer drug, and who worked as a consultant for the company, but without ever being paid a consultancy fee. Instead, ICI funded junior staff working in his laboratory on topics of his choice. They later paid his expenses as an expert witness in patent-litigation cases, as a result of which the US became a major lucrative market for tamoxifen, and ICI’s other anti-cancer drugs. This case study illustrates that, like consultants, drugs play an important part at the boundary between the academic and industrial spheres. However, even if it is blurred, the boundary remains. Owing to the secrecy that often surrounds industrial research, this boundary may lead to a different understanding of what constitutes innovation, and to different narratives with regard to respective contributions.
Department of History, Philosophy and Culture
Year of publication: 2020Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-08-14