Merck Vioxx Recall Essay

1159 Words May 16th, 2012 5 Pages
Merck, the FDA, and the VIOXX Recall

MBA 520-D4C2 Ethics & Leadership in a Global Environment

April 22, 2012

Merck and Vioxx Recall

Did Merck act in social and ethical manner?

In 2005, Merck was ranked fourth in sales among pharmaceutical companies. Merck had released the drug Vioxx, for treating Osteoarthritis in late 1990. Merck as a company has a reputation of being one of the most ethical and socially responsible drug company established. The company’s Philanthropy was “Legendary” (Lawrence & Weber, 2011). A quote from George Merck, CEO, stated “We try never to forget the medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The
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In spite of all the research, advertisement and marketing invested in the drug, Peter S. Kim, president of Research Labs and CEO of Merck, based on results form the clinical trial and in consultation with doctors, immediately made decision to withdraw Vioxx from the market. FDA was informed of the safety risk and on September 30th 2004 a press release was issued. The company rebuilt its consumers’ confidence by showing that they have more knowledge in its products and emphasized the priority of patient health over profit lost on all the Vioxx that was recalled from the market. Merck also built its integrity with its employees by showing them the policies and training programs.

What could Merck have done differently?

Merck had already had a long-standing reputation for its ethical practices and decisions. That means that the company most likely focused on the quality of the product before putting it on the market, as opposed to focusing solely on a product that will generate millions of dollars. If Merck would have more time, and consequently more money, on developing a product that didn’t have so many warning signs at the very beginning of its developmental stages, then it wouldn’t have had to lose much more money by recalling all of the Vioxx that had already been on the market. Additionally, Merck would have been able to save itself more costly damages due to lawsuits if the warning

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