Marketing of Medical/Pharmaceutical Products
The marketing of medical and pharmaceutical products has turned into a market-driven approach. Many companies in the pharmaceutical field are reliant entirely on the returns that are produced from the trade of their goods to gratify stockholders and sponsor the study and growth of other new property. With this marketing approach several unethical drug promotions violations exist. Ahmad, Akhtar, Awan, Murtaza (2010) states “ the most common are promoting misleading or false claims about a drug, deliberately suppressing risks and side effects of a drug, providing financial incentives to physicians for prescribing the drugs, and using disease awareness campaigns for drug promotion rather than health promotion.” The ethical implications, impact and ethical principles of beneficence and non-maleficence related to pharmaceuticals will be discussed.
Pharmaceuticals and Ethical Implications
Only a small portion out of 15,000 affluences that are examined can finally become medicine. The changes related to the companies are very high where at times many questions may arise concerning the ethical issue. (Roth, and et-al, 1981)
The pharmaceutical industry uses roughly $21 billion on marketing every year. About 90% of this portion is given to physicians in different methods like gifts and free samples to support. In current years; we have observed a destruction of the communities’ faith in the occupation of medicine and many others that are significant and crucial in areas like science. Poor marketing practices by the pharmaceutical industries have influenced the prescription of medication and sometimes it has resulted in abuse.
Those who participate in this industry have an ethical code that they have to adhere to regarding their customers from whom they are supposed to get an added advantage because of the kind of drugs they release to the market. There is an association that is responsible for providing guidelines for marketing. The buyer’s perception issues arise when there is the conflict of interest which is created without the information from the final consumer. (Vanderford, and 2003) The patient should be able to believe that the prescribed drug is suitable for treating the particular disease. If the decisions of the prescribed drug were suggested for medical reasons by people who were marketing it then physicians are guilty of engaging in unethical practice.
Impact of Pharmaceuticals
Retailers are deeply involved in the specialty market and several chains operate their own specialty pharmacy divisions. Many retailers including Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart are also partners with pharmaceutical and biotech; manufactures do offer compliance reimbursement assistance programs and distribution channels. Care management and disease manage to provide complete episodes of care which physician reimbursement services and nursing support for those with chronic illnesses. Managed care organizations offered specialty pharmacy coverage to employer groups and provide patient care through their physician’s networks.
Pharmacy benefit managers have expanded into the specialty pharmaceuticals sector by providing specialty vendors with access to millions of covered lives. All major pharmaceutical firms have an obligation to offer assistance when social, political and economic conditions make it impossible for patients to receive lifesaving medicines. Pharmaceuticalisation is the increasing belief of individual and healthcare providers that the best method of treating most ailments is only through a pharmaceutical solution (Applbaum, p. 84-112). This process has led to an environment where the prescription of a specific treatment does not depend on how well or effective it is but rather than how well the manufactures of the treatment has marketed their brand in comparison to other treatments. It is important for health worldwide to acknowledge the dangers of pharmaceutical industry and resist their growing influence in healthcare.
Ethical Principle Non-maleficence and Beneficence
Non-maleficence is the ethical principle of not doing harm, while benficence is the ethical principle of doing good (Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 2000). Pharmaceuticals have the appeal of doing good or beneficence. They promise the hope of reversing or putting a halt on the aging and disease processes. This in turns gives people hope that pharmaceuticals will prolong life and thrawrt death. However, according to Woien (2008), continuing on with existence may be harmful to a person, while death may be beneficial. Turner (2004) states “But the products promoted by these groups have no credible scientific basis: there are no proven, scientifically established ‘antiaging’ medications.” Anti-aging pharmaceuticals have not been proven to good and they may even be harmful by touting that they will extend human life which may cause harm. Other phamaceuticals that have been proven to help medical conditions may have significant side effects that patients may not know about. Part of beneficence is ensuring that the patient is informed of all aspects of the medication. If the good of the medication is equivocal to the harm that the medication may cause, then non-malificence should prevail (Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 2000).
There is a constant debate on the influences of the pharmaceutical marketing and the medical profession. Ahmad et al (2011) states that “35 percent of physicians believe that they are the main culprit for unethical drug promotion but 46 percent say that this unethical practice is due to pharmaceutic companies.” Ethical evaluation of pharmaceutical marketing in Pakistan concluded that “many physicians made distinctions about ethical appropriateness that reflected the value of a gift, the type of gift, and the extent to which an activity conveys potential biased information.” Pharmaceutical companies must supply medical professions with the most up to date information on any drugs or equipment and withhold nothing. This paper has given you a broad overview of some of the unethical issues related to pharmaceuticals.
Ahmad, M., Akhtar, N., Awan, M., & Murtaza, G. (2011). Ethical Evaluation of Pharmaceutical Marketing in Pakistan. Retrieved from https://www.actabioethica.uchile.cl/index.php/AB/article/viewFile/…/18512
Applbaum, Kalman (2010) “Marketing Global Health Care: The Practice of Big Pharma.” The Socialist Register, 2010, Morbid Symptoms: Health Under Capitalism, Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, (eds), 84-102. Web
Principles of Biomedical Ethics. (2000, May) Erlanger Medical Ethics Orientation Manual. Retreived from http://www.utcomchatt.org/docs/biomedethics.pdf
Roth, J., Rapaka, R. S., & Prasad, V. K. (1981). An HPLC procedure for the analysis of furosemide in pharmaceuticals-analysis of furosemide tablets and furosemide injection. Analytical Letters, 14(13), 1013-1030.
Turner, L. (2004, May). Biotechnology, bioethics and anti-aging interventions. Trends in Biotechnology, 22(5), 219-221. doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2004.03.008
Vanderford, B. J., Pearson, R. A., Rexing, D. J., & Snyder, S. A. (2003). Analysis of endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products in water using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. .Analytical Chemistry, 75(22), 6265-6274.
Woien, S. (2008, December). Life, Death, and Harm: Staying Within the Boundaries of Nonmaleficence. The American Journal of Bioethics, 8(11), 31-32. doi:10.1080/15265160802513176
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