Big Pharma

2583 Words11 Pages
Term 2, 2010/11
MGMT003 Business, Government and Society (BGS)
Instructor: Dr. Gilbert Tan

An analysis of Case 29: Big Pharma’s Marketing Tactics
The Big Pharma controversy is about the wide-scale marketing malpractices used by big pharmaceutical companies in America which resulted in a series of negative implications on consumers. It revolves around pharmaceutical companies, government regulators, health professionals (or “unprofessional”), market consumers and the medical watchdogs. The dispute was formed between the supporters of the marketing tactics used by pharmaceutical representatives and the detractors to it. Specifically it is the context that matters: Is it right, or rather ethical for the medical
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Back in 2009, a study out of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that 84 percent of doctors have ties to drug companies, a ten percent drop from five years earlier. But roughly two thirds of doctors still accept drug samples, while 70 percent accept food and beverage incentives from drug companies. And fourteen percent continue to accept cash payments for services. While some of these unethical practices were tapered off, not all were uprooted. Some doctors did not disclose the amount of gifts and cash which they have accepted from the drug companies. They believe that their decisions on the prescription of drugs would not be influenced by the gifts which they have accepted.
In my opinion, the supporters, primarily the health professionals and representatives of the pharmaceutical giants, have disregarded the genuine health implications and the high drug costs incurred to the general public in concern. They might try fending off such moral challenges by claiming that substantial amount of advertising is necessary to boost the sales of their products. Securing more profits would also mean more money can be invested on research for better drugs. However, it is evident that the excessive promotional efforts of drugs have blinded the pharmaceutical industry, in the pursuit of more profits and sales. Their main concern of profit maximization still
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