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Insta Ethics 70 Days Plan 2020 – Day 10

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Day – 10

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1. Generic medicines are a boon to many in the society who cannot afford the costly patented medicines of multinational companies. Indian companies have played a crucial part in making these generic medicines available to all; not just in India but also elsewhere in the world. A fact which was even appreciated by World Health Organization (WHO) recently.

In one of the major breakthroughs, a multinational pharmaceutical company was able to discover a drug for a disease which claims millions of lives in the world; both rich and the poor. The discovery of this drug was hailed widely across many countries. However, the drug developed by the MNC was priced in such a manner that it could be made available only to the select who could afford these costly medicines. Majority of the people suffering from the condition could never afford these costly medicines.

An upcoming pharmaceutical company in India managed to develop a generic drug for the same condition after few years based on the drug recently discovered by the generic drug company for the same condition. And, there was no observed side effect to this generic drug. The generic drug also received approval from the regulatory authorities in India. Orders for the drug have already been places by many countries. However, the MNC pharmaceutical company filed a case against Indian pharmaceutical company

You were appointed as a member to a committee that has been tasked with the responsibility of ascertaining the claims of fraud against Indian company. While investigating, you come across a major lacunae which though does not constitute fraud can result in the generic drug being banned owing to some legal provisions. Banning of the drug could result in loss of lives of many people across the world and also financial difficulties for the company. You were also approached by the Indian drug company not to report the findings to the court.

In this context, answer the following questions:

    1. What are the options available to you? Analyze the pros and cons of each
    2. What course of action will you take in the present case? Justify the reasons for your action
    3. Do you think big pharmaceutical companies which fix the price of their drug very high are unethical by nature? Give reasons for your opinion

 

2. As a child born in a poor family, you always harbored the dream of becoming a doctor. You have worked very hard since your school days to achieve your goal. You took up government service though you could have very well chosen to work in private field which by nature is more profitable.

You have been tasked the overall responsibility to implement the family planning programme in a region where the fertility rates are quite high compared to the National average. Targets for the same have also been assigned to you. You have also been given a team of doctors who will be working under you to achieve these targets. Monetary incentives are given to those people who participate in the family planning programme

The response of the civilians to the family planning camp has not been what you had expected. However, in a few days, the response for the camp improves. You notice that women participated more in these family programme camps. However, you did not pay due diligence to find out the reason for that.

After a few days, few women who participated in these camps suffered serious health setbacks. When a preliminary investigation was done by you to ascertain the reason, you found out that one of your team doctors has not been observing required medical care and attention while performing these operations.

When you confronted him and told him that you would report him for his carelessness to higher authorities. He resorted to blackmail you instead. This doctor has been collaborating with some local people in an illegal manner to claim some share in the incentives provided to people. The local people in turn have blackmailed the vulnerable sections of the society to undergo this family planning else suffer social ostracism. The incentives provided by government are being completely split by the corrupt doctor and his local supporters.

He is blackmailing you that he would report that this whole illegal operation has been done with your permission, if you decide to report his carelessness. Any report against you on this issue will result in an immediate suspension of you; pending an inquiry. This may harm your career and also make the effort put by you to be a doctor a complete waste.

In this context, answer the following questions:

    1. Identify the ethical issues involved for you in this case.
    2. Debate the options available to you by carefully examining their pros and cons
    3. What course of action will you take in this scenario? Justify the reason for the same.

 


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