Merck and River Blindness

2246 WordsJan 13, 20149 Pages
Table of Contents Section 1…………………………………………………………………………………3 Section 2…………………………………………………………………………………4 Section 3…………………………………………………………………………………6 Section 4…………………………………………………………………………………9 Section 1: Introduction and Situational Analysis Onchocerciasis, known as river blindness, is caused by parasitic worms that live in the small black flies that breed in and about fast-moving rivers in developing countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The disease, if untreated causes extreme discomfort and eventually, blindness. In 1978, the World Health Organization estimated that over 300,000 people were blind because of the disease and another 18 million were infected. At the time, there was no safe cure (Trevino, &…show more content…
Merck management’s stake in this is similar to that of the employees. The difference is that not only are they invested professionally; the management team has been given stewardship over the Merck brand and corporate identity. They must make the decisions that set the company’s path so that the brand is financially successful while being true to the corporate vision that was discussed earlier. Last, but certainly not least, we get to the people who are affected by the river blindness disease. These people have voice in what Merck chooses to do but at the same time they are the reason that Merck is in business in the first place. As of 2006, estimates are that 37 million are infected with, and up to 100 million people are at risk of contracting, river blindness (Hearney, 2007). For a company like Merck that claims to be more concerned with people than profits, these people are definitely stakeholders in Merck’s decision to move forward with invermectin trials. Section 3: Analysis Based on Ethical Theories Cultural relativism means that any decision is right (or wrong) depending on whose side you are taking at the moment. Because the United States doesn’t have a single, ethical baseline that guides our actions, each individual view holds equal weight and there is no absolute right or wrong. For this case, Merck could decide to cut the research on invermectin, order it’s scientists
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