Conflict Of Interest In Pharmaceutical Companies

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Medicine is an industry-dominated climate, with physicians and patients relying on pharmaceutical companies to provide the medications needed to adequately address patient health concerns. However, because pharmaceutical companies stand to profit from the drugs they sell, they have an incentive to influence consumers to buy the drugs they manufacture. These efforts introduce a conflict of interest: between the objective of pharmaceutical companies to maximize profits and the need of patients to receive the most safe, effective, and individualized medications at any given time. Thompson (1993) defines conflicts of interest as follows: …a set of conditions in which professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as a…show more content…
Vulnerable consumers — whether patients in need or time-strapped clinicians — are more likely to be misled. There is also a need, therefore, for a more nuanced understanding of the interaction between marketing practices and preexisting human vulnerabilities to this mismarketing. Ethical Question Should companies market a medication for the treatment of a disorder when the medication has not received formal approval from the relevant national regulatory body? Possible Answers: Yes, as long as empirical evidence exists that supports the drug’s use toward the treatment of a given disorder, it is the company’s right to make this information known — whether or not national regulatory bodies have formally weighed in on the evidence. No, the absence of a formal indication may suggest that there is inadequate evidence that the drug is effective and that it does not have a problematic safety profile. A formal indication by the regulatory body serves as a testimony that a third party, with the patient’s best interests in mind, has examined the drug and found it to be sufficiently effective and safe. On the one hand, the company has the right — even the duty — towards its shareholders
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