1. Was it ethical for Apotex to include a three-year gag clause in the agreement with Dr. Olivieri?
2. Even though Dr. Olivieri later admitted that she should never have signed the agreement with Apotex that included a confidentiality clause, does the fact that she did sign it have any bearing on her actions here? Why or why not?
3. Was Olivieri’s decision to publish her findings about the trial an example of universalism or utilitarianism? Explain your answer.
4. If we identify the key players in this case as Dr. Olivieri, Apotex, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the University of Toronto, what are the conflicts of interest between them all?
5. What do you think would have happened if Dr. Olivieri’s fellow academics had not supported her in her fight?
6. How could this situation have been handled differently to avoid such a lengthy and bitter battle?
In April 1993, Dr. Nancy Olivieri, head of the hemoglobinopathy program at the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC), the teaching hospital for the University of Toronto in Canada, signed an agreement with the Canadian drug company Apotex to undertakeclinical trials on a drug called deferiprone (referred to as L1 during the study). The drug was designed to help children with thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder that can cause the fatal buildup of iron in the blood. The agreement that Olivieri signed with Apotex included a clause (later referred to as a “gag clause”) that specifically prevented the unauthorized release of any findings in the trial for a period of three years: As you now [sic], paragraph 7 of the LA-02 Contract provides that all information whether written or not, obtained or generated by you during the term of the LA-02 Contract and for a period of three years thereafter, shall be and remain secret and confidential and shall not be disclosed in any manner to any third party except with the prior written consent of Apotex. Please be aware that Apotex will take all possible steps to ensure that these obligations of confidentiality are met and will vigorously pursue all legal remedies in the event that there is any breach of these obligations.

  • CreatedDecember 13, 2013
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