Pressure from upper management can put a strain on the ethical boundaries of a company. Amgen is a biotech firm which has pushed salesmen past the acceptable ethical guidelines and as a result, may have crossed ethical boundaries. The company is facing allegations of obtaining patients' confidential information and using it to benefit Amgen. The action is inconsistent with actions termed acceptable by the biotech industry. Establishing ethics policies, ethics committees, and ethics training prevent companies from knowingly committing ethics violations.
Ethical Issue in BusinessAmgen, who is marketing the psoriasis drug Enbrel, has recently found them selves in an ethical bind. The company began having problems when management pressured their sales representatives to look into patient's files to find those who have psoriasis so they could try new treatment on them. These sales representatives refused to be a part of this illegal activity and were terminated. When filing a suit against the company, two of the sales representatives told of other illegal issues Amgen had participated in.
Not only was Amgen breaking confidentiality rules they were also having some associates pose as doctor's staff to go through insurance companies to receive reimbursement for the medicine. Finally, Amgen is under investigation "into whether Amgen had engaged in off-labeling marketing. Enbrel is approved for moderate or severe psoriasis, but the two former [employees] say the company tried to sell it for mild psoriasis as well" (Pollack, 2008, 3). When it comes to ethics, these ground rules fall under certain theories and the sales associate's situation fall under the duty based ethics. Duty based ethics are the rules and values that are those derived from what is right. The Amgen sales associates spoke up because it was the right thing to do no matter what the consequences might have been.