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Taking the List: Ethics in Pharmaceutical Sales

Scott D. Hayward, Robin T. Byerly
January 1, 2016
North America
Ethics & Social Justice
3 pages
ethics, Social Justice, pharmaceutical sales, Information, sales dynamics
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.69)
Average rating: 

Adam Norris made his way in the “arms race” of pharmaceutical sales. He was the sales representative for a new drug that could help patients manage a serious health problem. The drug could also help him and his colleagues become sales team of the year if he could get it listed on the St. Thomas hospital formulary. To do so, Adam needed the names of the decision-makers, a guarded secret at St. Thomas. This critical incident discusses the dynamics of pharmaceutical sales in the early to mid-2000s. When Adam was presented with a chance to take the names without explicit permission, what should he do?

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Consider a sales representative’s moral dilemma using multiple approaches and rationales, and make an ethical decision based on that analysis
  2. Analyze the ethics of an industry’s sales environment to understand the contextual influences and pressures that emanate from different workplace/industry situations
  3. Evaluate the ethics of proprietary information and the importance of secrecy and transparency