The Pharmaceutical Industry

Powerful Essays
Americans are bombarded with advertisements by the pharmaceutical industry with pharmacies on busy street corners, television commercials, magazine ads, as well as advertisements flashing across the computer screen while surfing the internet. They are all declaring the latest breakthroughs that medicine has to offer. In 2004, it was reported the prescription drug industry spent $57.5 billion in advertising, profiting $235.4 billion in overall drug sales (“Big Pharma,” 2008). In 2010 the sales increased to $307.4 billion (Stringer, 2011). This equates to 43% in total global market sales which spells big business for pharmaceuticals (“Big Pharma,” 2008). Usually, where there is big money involved, greed ensues followed by unethical business practices and the pharmaceutical industry is no exception. The purpose of this paper is to look at four questionable business practices common to the industry, the ethical theories behind them, followed by recommendations to change those practices and ultimately improve the culture within the pharmaceutical industry and America’s trust. The Pharmaceutical industry is known for its “kickbacks” to health care providers. Many of the leading corporations in the prescription drug industry like Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly & Co, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, among others have paid billions in fines under the U.S. government’s False Claims Act for such questionable practices (“Americord Denounces,” 2013). These “kickbacks” are gifts or bribes given to influence doctors in prescribing their drugs to patients in place of the competition. These bribes include, cash payments, all-expense-paid family trips, sexual favors, among others (“Big Pharma’s... ... middle of paper ... ... Nov. 2013. . Olssen, Douglas P. "Ethical Issures: Nurses and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Part 2." Better Resources for Better Care 2nd ser. 109 (2009): 86-87. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Web. 16 Nov. 2013. . "Painkiller Pill Mills and Corporate Responsibility." LexisNexis Academic. LexisNexis, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 06 Nov. 2013. . Shaw, William H. Business Ethics. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2011. 19-52. Print. Stringer, Kaye. " Printable Article." US Spent $307 Billion on Prescription Drugs in 2010., 27 Apr. 2011. Web. 16 Nov. 2013. .
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