Suppose that you are tasked with managing a health care marketing division for a pharmaceutical drug. A junior member of your marketing team suggests that you increase the budget to invite health care providers to attend symposia in which they will be trained to be speakers. One goal of the marketing plan is to influence physicians to prescribe the drug. The team member has draft versions of brochures and DVD's espousing the benefits of the drug; these are to be distributed to physicians and patients as a way to boost sales. The team member also suggests that a bonus system be set in place for your sales representatives in their territories in order to increase the number of prescriptions that physicians make for the drug.
(A) What are some of the ethical issues associated with this marketing strategy?
(B) How would you address these issues as the manager of your division?
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(A) A major ethical issue associated with this strategy is the attendance of physicians to a session organized by the marketing division. The specific aim of any interaction with physicians should be to provide scientific and educational information. This information is provided with the intention of benefiting patients and improving medical care. The primary intention of the session should not be to market the product because it could influence the judgment of the physician. It is also preferred to have the session organized by scientific bodies instead of a marketing division of a pharmaceutical company.
Another issue is a personal benefit provided to the physicians by training them to be speakers. No benefit should be provided to physicians that would in any way influence ...
The Solution identifies the ethical issues involved with the marketing strategy for a pharmaceutical drug and methods of resolving these issues with the management team.