Philosophy of Management 19 (4):369-385 (2020)

Authors
Robert C. Hughes
University of Pennsylvania
Abstract
Recently, dramatic price increases by several pharmaceutical companies have provoked public outrage. These scandals raise questions both about how pharmaceutical firms should be regulated and about how pharmaceutical executives ethically ought to make pricing decisions when drug prices are largely unregulated. Though there is an extensive literature on the regulatory question, the ethical question has been largely unexplored. This article defends a Kantian approach to the ethics of pharmaceutical pricing in an unregulated market. To the extent possible, pharmaceutical companies must price drugs so that those who genuinely need them can get them without financial ruin. This requirement is an ethical side constraint, like the moral prohibitions on deception and theft, that takes precedence over a business’s interest in maximizing profit. That said, the requirement’s application is sensitive to the need to recoup the costs of research and to produce a return that financially justifies the original investment. It may not be either feasible or desirable for government to attempt to enforce the ethical requirements concerning just pharmaceutical pricing. Either price regulation or subsidy could fulfill government’s obligation to protect patients from being objectionably vulnerable to pricing decisions by private companies.
Keywords drug pricing  exploitation  Kantian business ethics  pharmaceutical industry  price-gouging
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s40926-020-00135-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Exploitation.Alan Wertheimer - 1996 - Princeton University Press.

View all 43 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Business Ethics.Jeffrey Moriarty - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Business Ethics.Alexei Marcoux - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Surprizing Management.Wim Vandekerckhove - 2020 - Philosophy of Management 19 (4):365-367.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Peter A. Ubel's "Pricing Life".Robert M. Veatch - 2001 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 44 (1):108-116.
Fairness of Pricing Decisions.Diana C. Robertson - 1999 - Business Ethics Quarterly 9 (2):225-243.
Indifference Pricing: Theory and Applications.René Carmona (ed.) - 2008 - Princeton University Press.
Implications of Social Justice for the Pricing of Information Goods.Shana R. Ponelis - 2007 - International Review of Information Ethics 7:216-220.
The Importance of the Intent in Predatory Pricing Cases.Raimundas Moisejevas - 2010 - Jurisprudencija: Mokslo darbu žurnalas 122 (4):319-334.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-05-30

Total views
28 ( #388,081 of 2,444,817 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
19 ( #38,871 of 2,444,817 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes