Final Essay Ethics

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Final Essay A Case Study of Roche’s Drug Trials in China Introduction In business we must evaluate decisions along ethical lines and we must recognize that, for the long-term benefit of society, we cannot always make these decisions based simply upon a profit motive. The following case exemplifies the complexities inherent in business decisions. The case examined addresses whether it is worth doing something ethically questionable for the sake of a justified end. In 2010, the pharmaceutical company Roche came under fire from Traidos Bank, the Berne Declaration, Greenpeace, and other critics for its policy of testing an organ transplantation drug called CellCept in China. CellCept is a drug designed to “prevent the rejection of…show more content…
As Roche makes clear, “CellCept was a medicine which had saved and continued to save thousands of patients’ lives by preventing post-transplant organ rejection.” If CellCept can receive regulatory approval in China then it could improve the lives of many people, as well as save them from other costly or less effective alternatives. In order to properly conduct an ethical analysis of this case study, each relevant party must be distinctly identified. The primary decision maker, the pharmaceutical company Roche, holds an interest in the revenues it would receive from regulatory approval. While it is easy to assume that businesses are driven solely by the profit motive, the company spokesperson’s statement, “Withdrawing [CellCept] from the market in any country would be morally unthinkable”, indicates that Roche may be legitimately interested in the welfare of its end users. The party most impacted by Roche’s decision is medical patients waiting for organ transplants in China. This party is actually made up of two categories: those patients who will participate in Roche drug trials, and those who would receive the drug CellCept only in the event of Chinese regulatory approval. We can assume both of these groups belong to the same patient party for the following reasons. First, Roche has indicated that independent institutions conduct organ procurement, and we have been given no information to indicate that procurement procedures are different for test patients as
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