Business Ethics Essay

Words: 1092
Pages: 5

All businesses face ethical issues. Some, as they should, see them as an important aspect to be remembered when making a business decision, while others wrongly see them as an inconvenience.

Earlier this year, the news was released that the American pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline were fined $3 billion (£1.9 billion) after bribing doctors to increase their drugs sales.
The company admitted corporate misconduct over the antidepressants named Paxil and Wellbutrin as well as the asthma drug Advair.
They also admitted to encouraging the prescription of these unsuitable antidepressants to children. Not only was this extremely unethical but also unsafe. Thus, generating profit for the company but also danger for those who were
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Here in the United Kingdom we are fortunate enough to have the National Health Service (NHS), but in other countries, such a service does not exist and so medicinal drugs and healthcare are able to become something unaffordable. For some families it becomes a necessary expense, but one that can't be paid for. This creates a social divide between the rich and poor and also allows companies like GSK to take advantage of a necessity, turning it into something profitable.
GlaxoSmithKline were also guilty of publishing an article in a medical journal that misstated the drug's safety for children, despite the journal asking several times to change the wording. Copies of the misleading article were given to sales representatives to pass on to doctors in the hope that it would secure more business. This is an example of another ethical issue that pharmeuctical organisations can disregard; the manipulation of the public in order to boost sales. Various medicines and vitamins are advertised dishonestly or created for 'illnesses' that don't really require them, such as bloating.
But when a GSK-funded doctor refused to remove safety concerns about the drug from an article he was writing, GSK removed his funding, it was to be their way or no way.
The prosecution said the company paid $275,000 to Dr Drew Pinsky, who hosted