Merck : A Successful And Reputable Pharmaceutical Company

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Background on the Case Study

For years, Merck had been a successful and reputable pharmaceutical company that was known for its high-quality products and world-class research centres, and was often regarded in a good light compared to its less favourable competitors. However, all this fell apart in the early 2000s with the recall of the company’s “blockbuster” drug “Viroxx.” It was meant to act similar to ibuprofen in ways that it cured osteoarthritis and acute pain, but was withdrawn in 2004 after numerous studies showed that it caused an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. However, by that time over 80 million patients worldwide had used it and it was directly related to the death of over 27,000 people.

Ethical Issues and Questions

1. How honest are the claims that Merck has made (past or present) regarding their actions?
Merck claimed that they couldn’t tell if it was Vioxx that was causing the heart problems or was it Naproxen that was preventing it. However, these claims were not honest, as studies state that Merck was seeing the events unfold before them and saw that the people who took the drug Vioxx were experiencing heart problems and difficulties. Therefore, the claims that Merck made were not ethical because, prior to FDA approval and study submission to NEJM, the corporation knew that the drug was not safe.

2. How reliable are the claims made by those who criticize Merck’s activities in the pharmaceutical industry?
The claims made by the ones who

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