This essay reviews work in sociology and cognate fields regarding pharmaceutical marketing and its regulation. In particular, it considers how this literature contributes to a better understanding of the process of pharmaceuticalization, defined as “the translation or transformation of human conditions, capabilities, and capacities into opportunities for pharmaceutical intervention.”
The review addresses two research areas that offer productive avenues of investigations of the marketing-regulatory nexus in the context of pharmaceuticalization. The first concerns the sociopolitical mechanisms underlying development and enforcement of marketing rules. The second considers the impact of rules and enforcement schemes on corporate marketing practices and, consequently, on the shaping of pharmaceutical markets and health. Mulinari S. Sociology Compass 2016;10(1): 74-86.