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    Ethical dilemmas for drug companies

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    Assignment 2: Discussion—Ethics and IPR

    IPR protect drug companies from others making their products without the expense of investing in research and development. IPR also enable drug companies to recoup research and development (R&D) costs by charging more for a drug than the marginal cost of producing it.

    One result of this strategy, however, is that unless a company can charge enough to cover the costs of R&D and production, it has no incentive to develop and produce a drug; no matter how important that drug may be to certain populations, for example, the poor in third-world countries.

    What ethical dilemmas does this situation pose for drug companies?
    Do other types of companies face similar dilemmas?

    Identify and read two to three other articles on professional ethics and the concept of intellectual property.

    Share your observations, early conclusions, reflections, and questions in this discussion.

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    Solution Preview

    Ethical Dilemmas for Drug Companies
    Pharmaceutical companies have for long faced an ongoing ethical dilemma that is between increasing R&D costs and decreasing patent life and health benefits associated with innovation in pharmaceuticals. The drugs which are patented are priced higher by pharmaceutical companies to recover the R&D cost and cost of production. If there were no patent protection means there would be little incentive for companies to invest huge sum of money in discovery of new drugs. Such high priced drugs pose challenge to low income or disadvantaged group who are in need of those drugs but they cannot afford them. Hence there is a continuous pressure to increase profits and parallel pressure to make substantive contribution to global health.
    Other type of companies in other industries usually does not face such ethical dilemmas. It is only faced by companies which are involved in direct public dealings. However there are other ...

    Solution Summary

    Ethical dilemmas faced by pharmaceutical companies are discussed. Other types of companies which face similar ethical dilemmas as pharmaceutical companies are discussed.