The research director of PharmCo, a midsize pharmaceutical company, tells top management of an important new discovery. After years of effort, one of the company’s research teams has discovered a drug that will reverse pattern baldness, the leading cause of male hair loss. The potential for profit from such a drug is enormous, but the director cautions that two of the eight principal researchers on the team believe that the drug may also increase the possibility of potentially fatal cerebral aneurysms in a very tiny percentage of users.
• If follow-up animal studies of the new drug do not show significant side effects, would it be ethical for the company to tell the two researchers to keep quiet about their concerns?
• Is it ethical to put animals at risk in order to test the drug’s safety?
Many poor men in the world will be unable to afford the new drug if PharmCo sets the price too high.
• Is it morally right for PharmCo to maximize its profit even if it means that many men will have to remain bald? Does your answer change if the drug cures rheumatoid arthritis? AIDS?

  • CreatedSeptember 21, 2015
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