Question answers in business ethics

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Business Ethics Assignment Question

 
Section A: Read the following news item and answer the questions:
 
1. What are the main ethical issues raised by GlaxoSmithKline’s decision to promote and market drugs for unapproved uses? Do you think that such practices are morally permissible or unethical? Provide detailed reasons to support your conclusions.
2. Do you think it was morally acceptable for GlaxoSmithKline not to release relevant research data and to make unsupported safety claims for one of its diabetes drugs?
Is there a moral difference between merely failing to provide relevant information and actively making false claims about the safety of a drug? Why/Why not?
3. GSK’s activities were found to be illegal. Would it make a difference to your assessment of the case if such activities were not against the law? Why/Why not?
 
Section B: Watch or read the transcript of the following program and answer the questions:
 
4. Do large food and beverage companies have any moral obligation or responsibility to consider the consequences for public health of marketing and distributing certain kinds of food and drink products? Why/Why not? Answer this question using examples from the documentary to support your conclusions.
5. The program describes a range of marketing techniques used by food and beverage companies in different countries: the marketing of soft drinks to schools in Mexico; the door to door selling of snack foods fortified with micronutrients and marketed to low income families in Brazil; a snack food boat that visits small villages along the Amazon to promote and sell food and drinks. Do you find any of these marketing techniques morally problematic? Explain in each case, why or why not.
 
Section C
 
6. Compare your responses to the two cases. Do you apply the same principles and standards of conduct to pharmaceutical companies as you do to food and beverage companies? What are the morally relevant differences/similarities between the two cases?
 
Business Ethics Assignment Solution

SECTION A
 
QUESTION 1
 
What are the main ethical issues raised by GlaxoSmithKline’s decision to promote and market drugs for unapproved uses? Do you think that such practices are morally permissible or unethical? Provide detailed reasons to support your conclusions.
 
Promoting and marketing drugs for unapproved users is not only unlawful but is also a very risky affair. By committing such an act, GlaxoSmithKline looked only at self-interest and ignored the moral responsibilities it had. Wrongful marketing may have generated revenues at that point in time but will always be remembered as something wrong that the company did. Such practices are definitely unethical. This clearly comes across as unlawful and done for self-interest.  It reflects on the lack of commitment on the part of GSK to serve its customers in a correct way. (Author Corporate, 2012)
 
QUESTION 2
 
Do you think it was morally acceptable for GlaxoSmithKline not to release relevant research data and to make unsupported safety claims for one of its diabetes drugs? Is there a moral difference between merely failing to provide relevant information and actively making false claims about the safety of a drug? Why/Why not?
 
It is ‘Not’ morally acceptable for GlaxoSmithKline to not release relevant research data and make unsupported safety claims. They did not release this data because they knew it would directly affect their sales. Regarding the diabetes drug, they went a little overboard when they claimed the drug was safe. In a clear trade-off they chose to go with profits rather than righteousness. There is a moral difference between failing to provide relevant information and actively making false claims about drug safety.  The failure to provide relevant information may be considered as negligence to an extent but deliberate claims of drug safety is a punishable offense since it puts so many lives in danger. Utilitarianism talks of the perpetual dilemma whether the good consequences ultimately outweigh the bad, it is pretty evident here that the good consequences were definitely not moral good.  (GlaxoSmithKline: GUILTY in Largest Health Fraud Settlement in US History, 2012)………………..
 
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