Current Ethical Issues In Business PHL 323

Essay by CoreyS439College, UndergraduateA+, July 2008

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Medical device manufacturers do not rely solely on advertising and superior product features alone to help sell their products. Many manufacturers are engaging in unethical marketing practices that include making financial payments to doctors who will agree to use their products to provide healthcare to their patients. Such practices, also known as kickbacks, are viewed by most reasonable people as unethical, and in some cases are illegal. Manufacturers have "hired" doctors to provide consulting services at enormous hourly rates when they have agreed to use their products. Such arrangements are simply a ruse to the underlying unethical and illegal practice of kickbacks. Critics of this practice argue that patient care is undermined when doctors are paid to recommend one medical device over another. Recent works by a spine surgeon, Dr. Charles Rosen, and US government actions within the industry, are helping reduce and control these unethical and illegal activities.

This paper will provide details about this practice and what is being done to monitor and control it.

The paper references as its primary source an article from Business Week on May 19, 2008 by Arlene Weintraub.

The Basis of the IssueSome of the marketing practices of the medical device industry are very unethical, if not illegal. According to Business Week magazine (Weintraub, 2008), five medical device manufacturing companies were marketing their products to doctors and hospitals practices to use their medical devices and machinery in exchange consulting services fees that essentially equated to an illegal kick-back. These kickbacks influence the doctor to choose route of treatment that will provide them with the most income even though there might be a lower cost route to take. By accepting these "bribes" the doctor and the practice might be jeopardizing the individual's health by performing an unnecessary surgery just so that they can...