Essay about Case Memo: Merck Global Health and Access to Medicines

604 Words Sep 17th, 2013 3 Pages
Case Memo: Merck Global Health and Access to Medicines

The topic, human rights responsibilities of the drug companies, which is always controversial, however, is almost sharply defined in a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in August 2008. 1

The ‘‘Human Rights Guidelines for Pharmaceutical Companies in relation to Access to Medicines’’ include responsibilities for transparency, management, monitoring and accountability, pricing, and ethical marketing, and against lobbying for more protection in intellectual property laws, applying for patents for trivial modifications of existing medicines, inappropriate drug promotion, and excessive pricing.

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Second, Merck should apply multiple methods in valuing the projects, such as cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis and studies, while in the meantime, employee prestigious research groups to verify the valuation result. Attached (table 1) is the Economic Cost, Cost-Benefit, and Cost-Effectiveness analysis on Merck’s MDP2. Such comprehensive studies could provide better views to various parties: the shareholder to better understand corporate’s operation on social responsibility part; the NGOs (UN, WHO) to better learn the project in the financial sense; and the countries involved in the projects to better estimate the social impact.

Third, Merck should consider making the breakthrough of medicines and vaccines of the neglected deceases with high prevalence in the developing countries. Like GE’s case of the reverse innovation, pharmaceutical giants like Merck should consider reverse innovation out of the traditional R&D method. The lowered labor cost and clinical test cost could to some extent reduce the overall R&D cost and could substantially reduce the development cycle given more clinical trials could be tested at the same time. However, the patent could always be the issue. But with long time commitment, the patent problem could be solved through legislative methods by the government of the countries involved.

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