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- Identify the facts of the case

- Identify the case methodology of the author

- Examine the ethical issues of the Merck river blindness case

- Synthesize the facts and issues to make a reasoned decision whether to market the river blindness drug  


Students will examine a case of ethical responsibility to shareholders, stakeholders and the public. Merck faced the dilemma of whether to develop, test and market a drug which might not produce a profitable return.


In 1978, Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, undertook major research to develop new drugs. This occurred as two of its blockbuster drugs were about to go off patent. One of the drugs they developed was capable of curing a rare disease that resulted in blindness. The drug that they found, ivermectin, showed promise in curing the rare disease; however, the cost of testing and marketing the drug would be very high, resources were limited and the people who needed the drug were in poor parts of the world.

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The provided case is to be examined based on the ethical responsibilities that are being held ot the stakeholders, shareholders and the public. In case of the production and marketing of a drug, profitable outcomes were not the case as were expected.  In this case, the identification of the facts of the case of Merck and the dilemma that he faced is to be carried out. Identification of the case methodology that the author adopted for the communication of the purpose of the report will be examined as well. Examination of the ethical issues that are associated with the Merck river blindness case is focused as well.

Identification of Facts

There is identification associated with many facts that regard the aspects of business ethics in the case of Merck and River Blindness. It is one of the largest pharmaceutical message in the world. There is evaluation of the fact in the report that the company was about to loose the rights of patents to two of its best selling drugs. The contribution of the drug was also made to the sales in huge amount on an annual basis (Hernando, Colwell, & Wright, 2016). 

The evaluation of the value system is provided in the terms of evaluation that the course of the medicine production is supposed to be for the relief from the infliction and they are not to be produced for the sake of making profit. It is discovered in the case that the case of the river blindness was spreading havoc. The medications were expensive to develop and be produced for sale. The infliction was provided to the individuals at the poorest countries therefore they couldn’t afford the drug. 

The assessment through the discovery that is provided to the alternative in the contribution in the alleviation of the infliction by a cheaper method was made. The innovative method was developed and the cheap means to get the disease treated was introduced by the development and research on ivermectin and the test and observation were started to be conducted on the livestock (Wright, 2016). At last there was an assessment of the drug being distributed at the cost of thirty million on an annual basis and this saved the business a total cost of approximately three hundred million. 

Methodology of Case implied by the Author

The methodology of the case that is observed to be implied by the author is a win-win strategy that the company applied in the assessment of getting rid of the disease. There is observation of the congruency with the values of the corporate culture and the provision of the philanthropic depictions that are provided by the culture. This was accurately in compliance with the ethical values that are laid out by George Merck when he stated the assertion that the development of the medicine is for the people and it is not for the sake of gaining tremendous profits. 

The development of an affordable medicine in the short span of time for the sake of providing relief from the infliction of river blindness was introduced by the pharmacy. The funding of the drug will make the course of recovery inevitable. The infliction of approximately eighteen million people might be prevailed in the society.  The assessment of the funding was supposed to be made on the basis of the loss being incurred to the company in huge amounts. The value system of placing people before the profit was put to test and the evaluation was conducted based on the factor that the real life implementation was possible or not. 

The elaboration of the case method was provided in the context of the philanthropist activities that were to be conducted based on the associations with the cause and purpose of relif. The individuals could be profited from the drug or the company could be profited. The difficulty of the evaluation is observed that the individuals could not purchase the drug at the high price on which it was being offered. The course of trying and testing the drug was the essential aspect that was being evaluated and contemplated by company as what to do. 

Examination of the Ethical Issues

The observation of the ethical issues is being made in the context of the evaluation of the development of a drug that might be able to save certain lives but it will not be able to provide the provision of benefit to the company. The proclamation of the company being the assessive measure of the price rather than the policy was also discovered. The assessment was made in the certain times when the issues were evaluated on the basis of business ethics is observed in the case. The essential assessment in the declaration of the issues was observed in the context of dilemma in the conquest (Walker, et al., 2017). 

The evaluation against the corporate social responsibility was to be carried out against the course of earning profit. The fact that the infliction was so severe that the inflicted individuals were compelled to commit suicide declares sufficient ground on the measure of the disease and outlook of necessity of relief. The evaluation of the compelling situation in the time of hardship was to be weighed against hundred and millions of profit. This profit was not only sufficient for the governance of the company but was a necessary policy in the constructions related to the recovery of investments made in research. 

The concern of the corporate social responsibility was made to be carried out in the perspective of placing people against the profit or choosing profit as a substitute of the health measure for the people. This is the major ethical dilemma that was observed in the context of the well being. The fact that the issues are to be solved with the best possible approach under the appropriate measure taken will provide the implication of security and well being to the public as well as the users of medical aid to gain relief (Nicholls, et al., 2018). 

Synthesis of facts to decide regarding the Marketing of the River Blindness Drug

The evaluation of the factors provides the optimized solution to the issues that are provided by the Merck in the context of relief from river blindness. This is an important depiction as the course of reliability of the business on the note of observation of the ethics is the essential implication. An established business cannot be relied upon if it is not structured in the appropriate course of ethics. 

The goodwill was supposed to be observed in the aspect of the well being of the individual but the observation of the right and appropriate business ethics is an essential consideration which is to be granted. If the business possessed the ability to provide the course of cure to the infliction in the course of actions then the assessment of the profitability was to be considered in the aspect of the business responsibility. The evaluation was essential to be considered in the perspective that the sustainability of the business is essential consideration in the context of the stable observation and prevailing at the society. The business being ethical and gaining profit is an essential aspect of business but the aspect of the corporate social responsibility is to be considered.  

The assessment of the survival in the competitive environment is to be considered in the course of evaluation that was required to get the inflicted treated of the ailment or the assessment of survival in the corporate world. The evaluation of the employ commitment is to be carried out in the assessment of the factor of induction of research that is conducted in the assessment of millions and the looking after of the employs that is an essential aspect of the issues that are associated with the CSR observation. The issue must be assessed as the situation of the company and the stability on the onset of bearing loss by being charitable.


It is identified that ethics plays a vital role in business or are of paramount value in business and related aspects which includes multiple factors that requires ethical solutions and provisions of the operations to be in accordance to the ethics of business. Based on the facts identified, case methodology that is examined in terms of Merck river blindness case, most appropriate decision is given regarding the provisioning of the permission of market of the river blindness drug.

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