Essay on Merck Case Study

1344 Words Feb 21st, 2013 6 Pages
Introduction to the Case First established in 1668 in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck is currently (in 1978) one of the largest prescription drug producers in the world. After coming off a 10 year drug drought in the late 1970s, Merck put a large amount of money into research to continue its dominance in the prescription drug industry. The research-first approach worked and since then Merck has increased sales significantly. Merck’s mission was well stated by founder George W. Merck. “We try never to forget that medicine is for the people…not for the profits” (Bollier 3).
Merck researchers have been investigating soil deposits from the Kitasato Institute in Japan looking for naturally occurring antibiotics. In this research they
…show more content…
Cambell puts Merck in a difficult situation. First, Merck must choose a course of action that is ethically responsible and is consistent with its mission of making drugs to help people. Second, the option must address the reality that businesses must make a profit to stay open, so it should also offer some type of benefit for the company financially. One option for Merck is to proceed only with the drug Ivomec for animals and not to develop a drug for river blindness. There is simply not a large enough market that could afford any potential drug to help with river blindness. A significant amount of research has already been put into Ivomec and there is a high probability that Ivomec will be a financially successful product for the business. This option would maximize the business’ profits and minimize its risks. On the other hand, it is hard to justify such a course of action with the mission of the business. Millions of people would continue to suffer from river blindness. This option puts profits before the people and it could possibly result in a negative backlash from the media. If Merck were to pursue such a route, measures could still be taken to potentially help the victims of river blindness. Merck could release its research on ivermectin to other drug companies, allowing them the

More about Essay on Merck Case Study