Essay on Big Pharma
MGMT003 Business, Government and Society (BGS)
Instructor: Dr. Gilbert Tan
An analysis of Case 29: Big Pharma’s Marketing Tactics
The Big Pharma controversy is about the wide-scale marketing malpractices used by big pharmaceutical companies in America which resulted in a series of negative implications on consumers. It revolves around pharmaceutical companies, government regulators, health professionals (or “unprofessional”), market consumers and the medical watchdogs. The dispute was formed between the supporters of the marketing tactics used by pharmaceutical representatives and the detractors to it. Specifically it is the context that matters: Is it right, or rather ethical for the medical …show more content…
In conclusion, the principle of utilitarianism actually provides the latitude in deciding the extent of marketing efforts by pharmaceutical giants. Health professionals should not benefit at the expense of the patients. Instead, doctors should always act in the best interest of the patients. It is thus important to achieve a balance between the marketing efforts and the genuine interest for the health of the public.
The safety of the drugs produced has been a compelling issue in this argument. Drug companies have been reportedly illegally promoting drugs for uses for which they were not approved by the authorities. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alleged that Astra Zeneca, an Anglo-Swedish giant, illegally promoted Seroquel, an anti-psychotic drug, for off-label purposes, specifically to physicians who do not normally treat patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Instead, they marketed it in long-term care facilities and prisons for the treatment of unapproved uses, including Alzheimer’s disease, anger management, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression. Subsequently, it led to the recall of the drugs and AstraZeneca paid $520 million to resolve allegations for