Jameston Corporation, a pharmaceutical company introduced an antidepressant drug “Trizon” which provided not only relief but cured depression. However, its major content, serotonin has been proven to cause serious implications of consumers contemplating suicide. When the drug was introduced into the market, the company and the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) allowed it to not be labeled with the “risk of suicide” due to the lack of any substantial link between the drug and suicide. However, there have been studies conducted which provide evidence of the significant links between Trizon and suicide. Such as, in the year 1993 Dr. M. Tycher of Harvard Medical School stated that six of his research patients developed thoughts of suicide while taking the pill. Therefore, it is important that when putting the drug in the market it is the company's fiduciary duty to inform consumers of any side effects it might be responsible for. Because of this reason, the consumers have been misled into thinking the drug being safe especially for those who already suffer from psychiatric disorders and suicidal thoughts.
It is the company's responsibility to provide informed consent to the public, to make sure the consumers are fully aware of the effects of the drug, as it can raise ethical issues under trial. Such was the case during the mid-1990 when the company had 160 civil lawsuits by survivors of suicide victims and individuals who attempted suicide. The company was deemed irresponsible for their product when they were questioned in court for the cause, liability and accountability. Hence, James Corporation had to pay an undisclosed settlement to the families.
Furthermore, Jameston Corporation committed an act of negligence by not incorporating the label on the drug. Hence, the thought of suicide after taking Trizon was foreseeable and nothing was done to prevent it. When the drug was introduced to the public, Jameston Corporation instinctively provided an implicit promise of safety, enabling consumers to rely on the safety of the drug. Therefore, had the consumers been aware of the adverse effects brought on by the drug they would refrain from purchasing it.
A research conducted on the use of Trizon compared patients using serotonin versus anti-serotonin. The adverse effects of serotonin were significantly harmful than the anti-serotonin; where the patients taking serotonin became dangerously suicidal. This validates that Jameston consumers had actual foreseeability, where the company was responsible for the consequences they had actually foreseen. Had the patients not been monitored by doctors, this calamity could have been far more severe such as suicide.
From a Canadian standpoint, this problem arises many legal responsibilities. According to the Competition Act Section 74.01, Jameston Corporation is responsible for misrepresentation of their product by not truthfully informing consumers of the possible risks of suicide.
Moreover, according to ethics of egoism, the moral rightness or wrongness of an action depends on whether it serves as an interest of the person or promotes their wellbeing. Jameston Corporation and FDA hid the label on the drug because it was in their own self- interest. Doctors prescribing the drug would need to further monitor the patients had they been aware of the effects to avoid any serious harm caused by Trizon; failure to do this puts the patient at severe suicidal risks.
The utilitarian analysis takes into consideration the ethical significance of the act by examining the consequences of that act. Jameston Corporation proclaims to be socially responsible on their website by…