Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Further ethical and social issues in using a cocaine vaccine: response to Hall and Carter
  1. R E Ashcroft1,
  2. C Franey2
  1. 1Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Social Science and Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr R Ashcroft
 Imperial College London, Medical Ethics Unit, 324 Reynolds Building, St Dunstan’s Road, London W6 8RP, UK;


Evaluation of the potential of a cocaine vaccine requires a detailed understanding of the intended and unintended social consequences of its use. Prospective technology assessment is always difficult, but in the case of treatment and prevention of cocaine addiction we need to understand not only the neuroscience and pharmacology of cocaine addiction, but also social attitudes to drug use and addiction, the social context of drug use, and the factors which make drug use a rational strategy for an addict and make treatment seeking or relapse more or less likely. By considering different scenarios related to differing levels of effectiveness of the vaccine, the authors argue that vaccination will be at best a useful adjunct to existing methods of treatment, rather than a substitute for them.

  • cocaine
  • vaccine
  • drug dependence
  • treatment
  • public policy

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


Linked Articles

  • Symposium on drugs
    R E Ashcroft