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Business and The Integrity of Science

Criteria    TOPIC: Business and The Integrity of Science.


For your Business Ethics course you will review, assess and report the ethical dilemma in a real business situation. The integrity of the scientific method and the sciences reputation are the ethical focus of this Case Study. Business in many ways is a significant contributor to science. Businesses need scientific data, results and recommendation to produce and market services and products. An obvious example is the pharmaceutical industry. The research, design and production of drugs are highly regulated. There is also a lot of money involved in this part of medicine. Drugs can be helpful and harmful at the same time. Therefore, there is an opportunity for many ethical conflicts to arise in the pharmaceutical industry.


Case study two (2) requires you to research the threat to scientific integrity by business people. Research how far corruption has infiltrated the science of the pharmaceutical industry. Look for bribes or other forms of coercion to have scientific results say what the money interest want it to say. This case study is about the possible and plausible ethical dilemmas that arise during the development and marketing and sale of prescription drugs.


Part of this course requirement is to become more sensitive and observant of the grey area circumstances and situations that converge for an ethical dilemma. The following assessment criteria shall be used for the class. More importantly this ABC 3 step critical thinking process may help you throughout your career.


  1. A> What were the factual antecedents that preceded an ethical resolution, crisis, accident, crime or poor judgment that made the ethical dilemma transparent to those outside the specific enterprise?


  1. B>What behaviors do you consider to be unethical and WHY? The why part of this assessment requires a guess or opinion regarding individuals’ motivation. Often a behavior is based on a strongly held value. For example, wanting more and more money is not only greedy but often motivated by pride or arrogance. Consider vices, virtues and values while elaborating on WHY. In this section you should suggest motivation for interfering with science. Corruption is about money, power and influence. Making money is not corrupt. Making money and endangering others lives is corrupt and unethical. (The answers to this question should include the largest amount of words for your case study. Ethics is mostly about why we behave rightly or wrongly. Remember that relative ethics would say more rightly or more wrongly. Make this section at least HALF of your entire paper). If there is corruption then you should also be able to comment intelligently about fairness and justice. Note that section 3 of the rubric awards points for using words used for ethical thinking and assessment. Also, you should not just pepper your paper with ethical words. Many sentences in CS1 basically said, they did this and that is unfair. Unfair means many things to many people. Use language to explain your view of unfair actions. Same goes for justice.



  1. C>What were the outcomes or consequences? Consider both short term and long term, financial, reputation, relationships, image and/ or trust. Report if the cultural, social and legal landscapes have changed for the better or worse based on this case.


All case studies should be 2 pages. Format is simple. Answer each of the 3 questions. The layout is single spaced paragraph(s) for each of the 3 steps. Cite your sources. One source is not enough. Eight sources are probably too many. Please put your name on the page (s). BRING YOUR REPORT TO CLASS!


To get started I have listed two articles. Pick one CASE from the articles and then do further research on your own. Each article has many key words. For example, Merck bribes scientist may turn up some interesting data, so that you can write a decent case study. Another key word is Marcia Ancell she is a whistle blower that has worked in the health-medical industry.

 Articles to start: The Daily Beast. “Big Pharma is America’s New Mafia”.

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