Researchers at Merck & Co. believe that a drug they had developed for animals, an effective treatment for human river blindness, a debilitating disease that affects hundreds of thousands of poor people in the developing world could be. The process of development and testing, however, is enormously expensive. The company should devote critical resources for the development of the drug, knowing that even if it were medically successful, it would make little financial return? The case provides background on e … Read more »

Researchers at Merck & Co. believe that a drug they had developed for animals, an effective treatment for human river blindness, a debilitating disease that affects hundreds of thousands of poor people in the developing world could be. The process of development and testing, however, is enormously expensive. The company should devote critical resources for the development of the drug, knowing that even if it were medically successful, it would make little financial return? The case provides background on economic and scientific constraints that shape the pharmaceutical industry. It provides a framework for discussing ethical aspects of product innovation and the risks and benefits of investing in research. It can be used in strategic management, business and society, and ethics courses.
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from
Kirk O. Hanson,
Stephen Weiss
Source: Business Enterprise Trust
5 pages.
Release Date: 1 January 1991. Prod #: 991021-PDF-ENG
Merck & Co., Inc.: Addressing Third World Needs (A) HBR case solution

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