Ethics in Business
A moral issue has risen has arisen as to whether a pharmaceutical company have to release a new drug thought to be an effective treatment of chronic and severe depression for thousands of people suffering from the illness. However, the company is confronted with dilemma of whether to release the drug to the market or not. The hesitation to release of the drug is on grounds that the new drug side-effects has the potential of worsening the depression level of patient and thereby leading to death. This effect is thought to cause increased depression to one percent of the population.
The company has an option of releasing the drug into the market so as to offer successful treatment of the chronic and severe depression that has continuously debilitated people and affected performance of individual. Under this option, the company can decide to comparatively weigh the advantages of introducing the drug to the disadvantages. Since the advantages outweigh the disadvantages the company can go ahead and introduce the drug in the market.
The company can also explore an option of introducing the drug in the market and swiftly embarking on intensive research to develop a different drug that can act a side-effect suppressant. This option is ideal since the original drug can still be sold accompanied with another drug that significantly suppresses the side-effects of the drug. The third option the company can take is delay the release of the drug on moral issue grounds. The company can then embark on research on how best the side-effects of the drug can be reduced. This option will call for additional investment in research to produce a drug that has the same effectiveness with minimal side-effects.
Ethical theories decisions
Deontology theory postulates that individuals when analyzing a decision dilemma they adhere to their obligation and duties. In a nutshell, it means that an individual or business follow its obligations and duties to an individual or society as a way of upholding one’s duties that are considered morally and ethical correct. The pharmaceutical company has a duty and obligation of researching and producing drugs to population as treatment for various illnesses in the society. Basing on this theory the company may opt to release the drug into the market on grounds of its obligation to provide drugs for the populations. The decision to release the drug into the market is justified by the company since the company will be seen as to the adhering to its duty to the society.
Virtue ethics as postulated by Aristotle emphasizes the expressing of good character that is moral virtues. Virtue ethics theory does not emphasize rules, consequences and acts taken by a person. The theory focus on character traits in dealing with moral issues in the society gives extreme flexibility in moral particularism.
From a medical point of view, a virtuous physician possesses practical wisdom to perform certain action to alleviate suffering individuals from an ill (Robertson and Walter, p. 208). Basing on the argument by Robertson and Walter, it is likely that the company is going to consider the second option whereby it is going to release the drug into the market. Meanwhile, the company is going to embark on extensive research to alleviate the side-effects of the drug. The decision is made in view of alleviating suffering of human from depression illness.
Consequentialism theory according to Jonsson (p. 25) focuses on the rightness or wrongness of the result of an action pursued by a business or an individual. The theory ignores the intrinsic qualities of the action as opposed to the virtue ethics theory. Consequentialism involves calculation of important consequences of an action being taken by a business. It bases attention on the cumulative impacts of actions and concerns itself for future fruits of the actions as opposed to immediate results of actions (Ivanhoe, p. 55). Basing on this theory, the company is likely to focus on the last option which is to delay the release of the drug into the market pending further research on how to minimize the side-effects of the new drugs. By doing so the company will be focusing on the future positive outcomes of alleviating suffering of depressed population permanently as opposed to short term reprieve at the same time causing worsening the depression level and probable death.
Rights based theory almost similar to deontology theory since it also recognizes the rights and duties do undertake a particular act. The theory may seek to pursue a short term outcome as opposed to consequentialism focus on that limits personal freedom. Under this theory, the company is likely to go ahead and pursue the release of the drug while working on how to eliminate the side-effects later on.
It should be acknowledged that many people are suffering from chronic and severe depression. Furthermore, it is worthy recognizing that the company has intensively invested in the development of the drug. The best guide for the management of the company in decision making process is to consider releasing the drug into the market with caution to the population of the side-effects associated with the use of the drug. This will enable people to make a choice of purchasing the drug or not. This will exonerate the company from any wrong-doing due to the side-effects of the drug at the same time recover investment made in the development of the drug.
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