Ethics Essay

In: Business and Management

Submitted By cmatthews78
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Ethics Essay
By Christopher Matthews
Business Law 210
May 14th, 2012
Professor Scott Bergstedt

Stance on Merck/ Overview: It is the view of the author to discuss in detail why and how Merck caused gross negligence in its marketing and labeling practices. During this discussion, I will outline several instances where Merck has plead guilty to numerous law suits spanning from the United States to Great Britain (UK). In addition, I will define ethics and based on ethical business practices and attempt to identify what Merck may have done to prevent such unethical and in some cases immoral behavior.

Brief History of case: In 2004, Vioxx (Rofecoxib), an anti inflammatory, pain-reliving medication, to treat such conditions as osteoarthritis and acute pain had been recalled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Several reasons include illegal marketing and label practices, concealment of known side effects, intentionally misleading the general public, medical professionals and government officials. “Vioxx was taken by more than 80 million people worldwide before it was recalled in 2004 (Independent 2010). Merck, Sharpe & Dohme (Merck), Vioxx’s manufacturer vigorously denied any wrong doing and from 1994 thru 2011, several multi-national law suits were sought pertaining to the overall liability and health hazards that Merck had placed on the general public.

United States v. Merck: In late November of 2011, the US Department of Justice won a near $1 Billion lawsuit against Merck for illegal marketing practices.” Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will pay a $321 million criminal fine and another $628 million through a civil settlement to resolve off label marketing practices of Vioxx” (FDA, 2011). During the course of its investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had initiated a seven-year sting “that…...

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