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Unethical Business Research Practice - Essay Example

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Ethics should be upheld by all members of the organization without any exceptions. During research, there are a number of factors that should be considered to ensure that a study avoids criticisms due to unethical practices…
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The application of moral and ethical principles sin business is vital for organizational success. Background to the Trovan Case In 1996, Nigeria encountered an outbreak of Cerebral Spinal meningitis, the worst public health crisis that the country has ever faced (Edwards par 1). During the crisis, 1500 people succumbed to the disease. A number of non-governmental organizations including Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) reached out to the people in need faced (Gupta par 1). The organization treated well over 11500 infected individuals. A few weeks following the outbreak, Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, sent its employees to conduct clinical trials with its newly developed brand of antibiotics Trovafloxacin (Trovan®). Pfizer’s intention seemingly was upright. It sought to provide Nigeria with a life saving, cheap, innovative and less painful antibiotic to counter the dreadful disease. The company stated that the medicine could effectively treat meningococcal meningitis in adults and children. The company engaged a sample of the affected population in a study, featuring about 200 children (Gupta par 2). During the study 50% of the children sampled were treated with Trovafloxacin while the rest were treated with Ceftriaxon, the ‘best practice medication’. The study saw the death of 11 children, members of the study group. Several others suffered physical and mental disorders in the course of or after receiving treatment. What Unethical Research Behavior was involved? Pfizer in seeking to find a solution to the problem facing Nigeria, failed to observe crucial research requirements. For one, the organization did not pay attention to the issue of informed consent. The company involved a sample of children in the study without having their parents or guardians consent to their research activities. This for a fact goes against ethical standards when carrying out studies that involve children or people who are mentally retarded. Who Were the Injured Parties? In the Trovan case, the injured persons were the children who were subjected to the clinical trials without parental (and guardian) consent. All the children who were included in the study, in this respect suffered injury although those who received the “best practice” medicine may not have suffered physically or mentally. Effects of the Unethical Behavior on the Organization, the Individual, and Society As previously noted, the Pfizer study resulted in the death of 11 children. Many other children suffered physical and mental disorders following the study. Parents and relatives to the children suffered great loss having lost their loved ones. Others possibly incurred more medical costs and suffered psychologically from the results of the study. Pfizer as a company on the other hand has suffered loss in respect of the litigation. The Nigerian government launched a suit against Pfizer claiming a total of seven billion US dollars (Edwards par 1). This amount is demanded in compensation for the victims and their relatives. The company is bound to lose a lot of cash after the case, pending in court to-date, is concluded. Yet again, the company’s reputation was negatively affected with many customers losing favour with the company. In fact, the drug has been banned in Europe and is restrictively used in North America. How Could the Unethical Behavior be Avoided or Resolved? The damage caused to the children and their relatives related mainly to lack of informed conse ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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