Final Essay Ethics
A Case Study of Roche’s Drug Trials in China
In business we must evaluate decisions along ethical lines and we must recognize that, for the long-term benefit of society, we cannot always make these decisions based simply upon a profit motive. The following case exemplifies the complexities inherent in business decisions. The case examined addresses whether it is worth doing something ethically questionable for the sake of a justified end.
In 2010, the pharmaceutical company Roche came under fire from Traidos Bank, the Berne Declaration, Greenpeace, and other critics for its policy of testing an organ transplantation drug called CellCept in China. CellCept is a drug designed to “prevent the rejection of …show more content…
Given that the drug has already been approved elsewhere, we can reasonably conclude that it is likely to be adopted in China after the completion of testing. Thus, both test patients and post-approval patients are likely to be recipients of CellCept. In the event that either of these assumptions do not hold true, it is unlikely that classification of patients as two separate parties would significantly affect an ethical analysis.
The third and last major party in this ethical case is the group of current and potential organ donors in China. This group is not homogeneous, and it can be categorized across several different dimensions. For example, the pool of organ donors in China consists of deceased donors, future deceased donors, and living donors. Alternately, the group can be categorized by level of consent. Some organ donors’ consent has been violated, such as certain prisoners. Others legitimately consented to organ donation, for example individuals who volunteered to donate organs to family members. If CellCept were approved, consenting living donors would be more likely to experience happiness at seeing successful transplantation of their organs to loved ones. Contained within the donor party are also donors who are indirectly affected by Roche’s decision, but who are directly affected by policies in China related to consent and sourcing laws. If violations of