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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 29, 2006

Same evidence, different meanings: Transformation of textual evidence in hospital new drugs committees

K. Neil Jenkings and Nick Barber
From the journal


This paper investigates members’ practices at Drug and Therapeutic Committee (DTC) meetings. It describes situated practices involving textual and other forms of ‘evidence’ considered by committee members at two DTC sites dealing with the managed entry of a single pharmaceutical product (clopidogrel). It investigates the locally situated textual activities of committees and members; issues that evidence-based medicine (EBM) programs ignore in their assumption that decision-making can, and should, be a straightforward logical process involving the reading, understanding, and evaluation of scientific data unambiguously from a text. It describes the actual usage of written textual information by committees and individuals within them, as sophisticated reflexive workplace activities. Taking an ethnomethodological orientation, this paper shows how the same clinical study can result in different activities and discussions. This is not only because of different ‘readings’ by personnel in different places, at different times, and with different local concerns, but also due to the representational formats in which the study exists as a text document and object, i.e., that ‘evidence’ does not remain uniform across various sites.

1Address for correspondence: SCHIN, University of Newcastle, Bede House, All Saints Business Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2ES, UK
2Address for correspondence: Department of Practice and Policy, The School of Pharmacy, 29 Brunswick Sq, London WC1N 1AX, UK

Published Online: 2006-05-29
Published in Print: 2006-02-20

© Walter de Gruyter