Ethical Issues in the Pharmaceutical Industry

2511 Words Oct 23rd, 2011 11 Pages
Running head: ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY

Ethical Issues in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Abstract No one can deny that the pharmaceutical industry has made significant contributions to human progress. The pharmaceutical industry has been responsible for drugs that have saved millions of lives, cured many forms of cancer, and ensured that an AIDS diagnosis is no longer an automatic death sentence. Yet despite this there are questions that the public has on whether the industry has been fulfilling their social responsibility. There are many ethical questions that need to be addressed on how the pharmaceutical industry can be a better corporate citizen, and how the public can also ensure that when they go to the
…show more content…
203). The gift giving practices are not limited to just the primary care physicians. This practice is extended to nurses as well as medical students. Medical education is very expensive and the medical student is more vulnerable and more apt to be enticed by the gifts and generosities as well as the influence of the pharmaceutical representative. “Studies conducted by the University of Toronto conclude that more than 80% of surveyed students had received at least a book and in some cases much more” (Kerridge, Komesaroff, 2002, p. 119).
Nurses as well have become a more significant target of the pharmaceutical companies. “Some cite the reason behind this as being related to the increase in nurses who have the authority to prescribe” (Crock, 2009, p. 202). Even if a nurse does not have the authority to prescribe drugs, they are still heavy influencers in the decision making process of how to best treat the patent and possibly what drug to prescribe. What makes a nurse a prime target for the pharmaceutical representative is that most nurses do not have the funds or financial support to develop their own careers. One single donation from a drug company can easily fund a seminar featuring a speaker, catered lunches or dinners, a full bar and any other sort of entertainment. This will go a long way in nurses encouraging others in their profession to attend these conferences. In what can be described as a blatant case of conflict of interest, some nursing