Merck Vioxx Recall

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Merck, the FDA, and the VIOXX Recall

MBA 520-D4C2 Ethics & Leadership in a Global Environment

April 22, 2012

Merck and Vioxx Recall

Did Merck act in social and ethical manner?

In 2005, Merck was ranked fourth in sales among pharmaceutical companies. Merck had released the drug Vioxx, for treating Osteoarthritis in late 1990. Merck as a company has a reputation of being one of the most ethical and socially responsible drug company established. The company’s Philanthropy was “Legendary” (Lawrence & Weber, 2011). A quote from George Merck, CEO, stated “We try never to forget the medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they will never fail to appear,” this shows the efforts made by the company in adhering to its core values (pg. 481, Lawrence & Weber, 2011). Merck acted in a responsible manner because of the voluntary worldwide withdrawal of the drug Vioxx. The decision Merck took, was to withdraw Vioxx from the market which was based on some new data from the clinical trial called the APPROVe (Adenomatous Polyp Prevention on Vioxx).

Merck is renowned for its well established and innovative labs. Merck spent $3 billion on research annually and its labs have the reputation of being “scientifically brilliant”. (Lawrence & Weber, 2011, pg. 481). In light of internal knowledge of cardiovascular risks of Vioxx, Merck initiated collection of data on, usage of Vioxx, on patients enrolled in a clinical trial APPROVe. Merck’s strategy in its research has been to try and counter negative press over the handling of Vioxx. The strategy focused on the company’s good sense and knowledge, moral of character, and the good will. One of the strategies that pointed to their good sense was the knowledge of the medicine that helped them regain credibility to the company as a professional organization....
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