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Religion & Theology
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Is Merck's Donation Of Drugs Morally Acceptable? (Essay Sample)


Consider the AIDS and River Blindness cases. Merck ultimately decided to distribute the drug themselves instead of making the patent available for generic use (as suggested in the AIDS case). According to UNICEF, they have donated over 2 billion Mectizan pills and over 80 million people are treated annually.
1 Given that Merck is using corporate funds for this program, is Merck's donation of these drugs morally acceptable? Morally required? Explain.
2 Do Merck's stockholders have any cause to complain when Merck spends their money on these ventures which are not aimed at a profit?
3 If this action is morally acceptable (or required) for Merck, then would similar charitable actions be acceptable (or required) for other companies that produce products which would benefit impoverished people? (Ex. food companies, clothing companies, water filtration tech companies, etc) Explain.
4 If this action is morally unacceptable, then what makes it unacceptable?


Case Response
Case Response
Merck's position as one of the leading pharmaceutical products and service companies in the world is a grand fete whose foundation stands on specific core values. The values embroiled in the company's vision have a moral understanding that clients or customers all over the world may argue for being an acceptable code of conduct in the pharmaceutical industry. The use of corporate funds in the production of Mectizan pills to cure the millions suffering from River Blindness in the Third World countries is indeed an opportunity to make billions in revenue returns. The fact that the company distributes the drugs for free is a gesture of nobility rarely seen in the corporate world. It is an initiative based on the bottom line of the company's values that humanity comes first before profits. Based on the highlighted underlying facts on the firm's high-held esteem for the preservation of human life, the move is with no doubt morally accepted from all angles of perception. Furthermore, the fact that it did not release it patent for generic production of the drug prevents other companies from exploiting those in need through ridiculous prices. Selfish interests emanate from lobby groups and other influential parties in the United States who would want to cash in on the ground-breaking medical innovation. Despite the enormous pressure from these groups, Mer

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