Business Law 102
February 18, 2013
Pharmaceutical Companies and Ethics
After researching pharmaceutical companies, I quickly realized this is a very controversial topic. I’m not certain anyone in many of these companies have very many moral standards. Drug companies seemed to be very profitable from the researchers to the drug reps that deliver “gifts” and sample meds to the doctor’s offices that push their medications.
Many activists will argue that drug companies put themselves before human rights. Companies violate health related human rights by prioritizing profits over peoples access to essential medications.
Many large scale drug companies argue that they are proudly taking the stakeholder approach and striving to promote fair labor practices and non-discrimination in the workplace. They will also argue that the reason medication prices are so high is because of all of the research that is involved in developing a medication, while activists argue that meds are so expenisve due to the marketing they put into a drug in the first several years.
I found researching the pharmaceutical companies to be very interesting. It was very hard to get past the negative controversies and debates to find anything positive about any one company. However, I finally found one company in particular, Merck & Co. that has taken responsibility and turned around some negative press by developing a program that helps thousands of people.
Merck is one of the largest and most profitable drug companies in the world, but they have also been a leader in a donation program that helps Third World countries in Africa, South America and Yemen since the 1980’s.
Merck became one of the first drug companies to become socially responsible by donating to countries that could not
Cited: Lawrence, Joni. www.news.emory.edu/mectizan donation program. 24 October 2012. 16 February 2013