The unethical business practices of pharmaceutical giants

One only has to turn to the seemingly on-going saga of GlaxoSmithKline to know this. Their case seems to be wide spread across the globe. It seems that GSK is a leader in pharma fraud and wrongdoing.

The unethical business practices of pharmaceutical giants

By Susan Muldowney As unethical business practices become more sophisticated think Enron, Madoff, Olympus lawmakers face a very difficult challenge.

Deep within the nebulous realm of human behaviour lie the fundamental concepts of ethics. It encompasses notions of morality, integrity, and right and wrong, but even the most detailed definition of ethics fails to capture the many shades of grey that colour the real world.

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And when it comes to the business world, ethics can take on a particularly murky hue. And things are getting worse. The corporate landscape has been tainted by numerous scandals since the Cambridge ethics centre was founded in Japanese camera and endoscope maker Olympus is facing lawsuits from six banks seeking compensation over false financial statements issued by the company from to In the US, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of — conceived in the aftershocks of the Enron collapse — created new standards for corporate accountability.

Yet determining right from wrong is not always so black and white. And this prompts the question — to what extent can ethical behaviour be regulated? Tax evasion is illegal. Tax avoidance, while perhaps unethical, is not.

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Lying in court is a criminal offence. Lying by business leaders, while immoral, is not necessarily against the law. But that, too, has to be watched by the accountancy profession: Has a company disclosed everything that they ought to be disclosing?

So how much of this is still going on? Was that an isolated case with [Olympus]?

Unethical Practices Of Pharmaceutical Companies by Michael McGarroch on Prezi

With some companies having their offices offshore and passing money and profits back and forth, how much is really clear on the balance sheet and how much is it being passed through different jurisdictions? Neither hard nor soft law is adequate on its own. Governments tend to wait until the unethical behaviour has happened before they react.

The unethical business practices of pharmaceutical giants

This allowed multinational companies — Google, Apple and Amazon among them — to avoid paying a significant proportion of tax by shifting profits made in one country to the accounts of a subsidiary in another lower taxing nation. Profits would be sent through one Irish company, for example, then to a Dutch company, and finally to a second Irish company headquartered in a tax haven.


Do companies understand it? Could it be simpler? It tries to put too many things in the same law and the legislation can be quite hard to follow.

So should auditors be speaking out more? Thomas believes they should.This time, Bank of America a discussion on the theft of acura integras and honda civics and its affiliated banks the unethical business practices of pharmaceutical giants are putting up $35 million to settle accusations of doing.

Treating fines as a cost of doing business, Campbell added, “truly appears to be the business model in marketing drugs.” GlaxoSmithKline headed the payout list for the decade, ponying up $ billion, more than double that of runner-up Pfizer, at $ billion, according to Public Citizen.

Choose the subscription that is right for you Yet those sums, Public Citizen says, are essentially petty cash for the drug giants.

Ann E. Tenbrunsel is the Rex and Alice A. Martin Professor of Business Ethics and the Research Director of the Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide at the University of Notre Dame. As unethical business practices become more sophisticated (think Enron, Madoff, Olympus) lawmakers face a very difficult challenge.

Deep within the nebulous realm of human behaviour lie the fundamental concepts of ethics.

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Companies have poured time and money into ethics training and compliance programs, but unethical behavior in business is nevertheless widespread. Towards the end of , one U.S. Senator’s year-long investigation into Insys Therapeutics is finally paying off with massive exposure of the pharmaceutical giant for unethical business practices, for unethical and unbusinesslike conduct, and for bending and breaking regulations on requirements for lawful products, shipping, marketing, and.

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