The potential to discover a cure for river blindness

Eric Walker

14-20 Nicholson St

The dilemma that faces the company is largely based on the feasibility of continued research of the drug and its ethical responsibilities. It is caused by the fact that the potential market, for which it can benefit, does not lead to economic gains. The management of the company is obliged to ensure the sustainability of business, while the main aim of the scientists is to bring public good by finding ways to eliminate societal problems, which results in an ethical dilemma. Consequently, a decision is necessary to determine whether the research should continue or be abandoned. Above all else, it is important to remember that the philosophy, on which the company runs, was established by one of its founders, Mr. George Merck. He believed that the employees should not forget that medicine is done for the people and not for the profits. Moreover, the profits will always follow inevitably, if the company follows this philosophy. It is an assurance that as long as all remember the true aim of the firm, the profits will always appear. In addition, the more the company scientists dedicate themselves to their work, the more the profits will be gained.

Drug development is a process of trial and error, and before the success of a new research can be witnessed, numerous resources should be used in the process. Moreover, the process requires a long time needed for numerous researches and tireless work of a great number of specialists. Therefore, the decision to introduce or withhold the drug is not an individual decision to be made, as well as not an independent management decision. However, the management should provide the ethical framework by first acknowledging that it is their role to shape the organizational ethics. The other issue of concern is if there are any proprietary problems with the drug. According to different standards, the company should look into the ways to share information about the developments made within the time limits as set by the corporation laws, as well as those that bind the general society of researchers. The company’s success depends on its traditional ethics that have created a climate that strengthens relationships across the board. Therefore, it would not be appropriate to only look at the ways to legally avoid complications with the laws but also to continue with the ethical behavior that is a part of the organization’s philosophy. The drug under consideration is developed for an international market, and most of the developing countries do not have relatively strong established laws, which results in making them vulnerable to the external forces, as they have no power to act otherwise. It has been noted that in most of these countries, activities and behaviors that sometimes violate known standards of human rights and decency, are often legally permissible in some jurisdictions. If the company addresses these legal concerns, it will clearly show what it stands for and it will help in winning the investors and governments to support the research of the drug.

While it is the claim that business should not be conducted with regards to any ethics, self-interest should not serve the purpose of why the company does the research in medicine. The fact that modern economics advocates for self-interest in that there should be mutually gainful exchanges, it is important to consider the fate of those individuals who need the product but do not have money to purchase it. Profit maximization should not be the only goal, as there are others qualities, such as humanity, justice, and public spirit, that are considered to be the most important ones. If the research outcomes are presented to the countries interested in the drug, as well as to different international organizations that aim at eradicating the widespread of the diseases, including the river blindness, there is hope that funding will be availed to continue the experiments. Consequently, it is the ethical responsibility of the company to look beyond the profits and the market and proceed with the research based on the moral values.

This text is written by Eric Walker who is a writing editor at