Legal and Ethical Considerations in Marketing, Product safety and essay


Legaland Ethical Considerations in Marketing, Product safety andIntellectual Property

Situationshave pushed companies to a flexible application of new advancedscientific and technical measures in the praxis of product safety andmarketing. Marketing of products involves the integration oftechnology, humanities and social sciences in the markets.

Themanufacturers should also take care of the degree of the risksassociated with the consumption of their product. Product safety isessential in ensuring that the risks involved are within theacceptable known levels. A product is said to be acceptable onlyafter the consumer approves it. It is, therefore, the responsibilityof the producers to ensure that the product has negligible or norisks to the consumer.

Intellectualproperty refers to the act of designation of ownership to a monopolyby law (Sherman, 2014). Basing on these descriptions, a lot ofproblems crop up on the legal and ethical ground especially, whenproducers breach the legal and ethical policies that are set. Themajority of such companies are only interested in the financialprocesses of their products. In most cases it is intentional while ina few cases few it is done subconsciously. In this paper, I am goingto focus on the breach of such legal and ethical dimensions based onthe suggested case study. I will also look at the direct-to-clientselling of drugs and provide a reference on how one has beenvictimized based on the above dimensions.


Ethicalissues involve the creation of systems and defending them in order touphold the good conduct. Organizations ought to adhere to legal andethical issues with regard to their marketing, safety of theproducts, and intellectual property. Adherence to the ethical andlegal systems creates a good reputation and prevents legal conflictswithin the company.

Ethicsin marketing involves the application of various morals that dealwith virtues and values in the processes and directives of marketingand advertisement (Boatrigh, 2015). Generally, it equates to theapplication of principles of fairness, the do and don’ts in themarketing decision making, activities, and processes within thecompany. Evidence has it that some practices of marketing overlapwith media ethics good marketing is all about maintaining a goodrelationship with clients.

Ethicsin marketing start from the research on the market forces (Boatrigh,2015) when carrying out any research, it is unethical for thecompanies to invade the privacy of their clients. Searching for theirphone numbers, physical address, or going through their personalprofiles without their consent is uncalled for. Business enterprisesare, therefore, advised to refrain from invading the privacy of theirtargeted clients. Similarly, under this category, a business bodyshould not stereotype their clients this involves incidences wheretheir appearances and body weights are open to the public. Suchactions may discriminate individuals with esteem issues in thiscase, Comp-care goes against this ethical principle. The company’sagents ask doctors to filter to them the fax of their fictitiouspatients, without their consent, in order to reach them. It isobvious that the doctors may also have given additional informationabout those clients to make it easier for the CompCare agents toeasily identify them. The information may also have been provided tothe Compcare agents to enable the grouping of the patients intomanageable units.

Anotherground that requires ethical intervention is the area of the targetedaudience by the business body (Boatrigh, 2015). It is unethical toexclude a certain group of individuals who might be potentialclients of the products in the marketplace. This practice is meant tosideline and reduce demand in certain market sections. A good exampleis the sidelining of the obese people, the minority, and homosexualfrom market forces in the United States of America in the recentpast. Another case within this scope is the target of the vulnerablepeople within the marketplace (Boatrigh, 2015). The businessenterprises will look for the vulnerable market to exploit themCompCare also breaks this ethic. First, they concentrate theirmarketing strategies within the hospital premises network this meansthat the general public, which might have potential clients, has beenneglected. In addition, the company targets the vulnerable with agoal of making maximum profits from them. They are unable to resistthe marketing languages since they want to do anything possible tosave their lives.

Intellectualproperty ethics calls for the protection of a person’s innovationsat all costs (Sherman, 2014). No individual or institution shouldsteal someone’s idea and monopolize it as if it was their own idea.The owner of an idea has a right to patents, rights to industrialdesigns, and a right to trademarks and copyrights. For instance, apatent is a right of ownership bestowed to an individual by a legalinstitution. This right bars other individuals and companies fromusing, advertising, and importing the idea within a given period oftime to ensure that the idea is not disclosed to the general public.For an invention to acquire a patent it must be a unique idea, not anobvious thing, and it should be applicable to the industrialsettings. The idea should also be a solution to a certaintechnological dilemma. Basing on this, CompCare went against theintellectual property ethics. John is the main player behind theinvention of AD23 however, Compcare goes ahead to own the drug,advertise it, and even sell it to the public without John’sconsent. This is a typical example of theft of intellectual property,and it is not only a breach of ethical principles but also illegalunder the civil laws.

Theprotection of the consumer is an ethical issue on the ground ofproducts safety. Governments have put up laws that save from harm thewelfare of the clients. For instance, the State may force themanufacturers to provide critical information about the products theyare supplying in the market. This information should focus onspecific areas like the wellbeing of the product. This ethic hasmany assertions for instance, it gives clients entitlement to somerights. Manufacturers, therefore, have the responsibility to tell thetruth about the safety of the product. A good example was the use oftobacco in 1940’s to publicize promotion of health (Boatrigh,2015) n reality, this was not the truth. The inability to tell thetruth to clients is not only a moral offense but also a legaloffense. Back to the study case, the use of AD23 by clients is linkedto over 200 cardiac deaths this does not move the interests ofPharmaCARE. They ignore the data collected and continue to make largeorders. They do not educate the public on the side effects of usingthe drug. They are only interested in their financial gains ratherthan taking into consideration the interests of their customers toothis practice is not only illegal but also unethical.

Direct–to-Consumer marketing

Directto consumer (DTC) marketing is used to refer to the supply ofpharmaceuticals or drugs, even though it is also applicable in theother areas of marketing (Ventola, 2011). It is always geared towardsthe patients instead of practitioners in the medical sector. In theUnited States of America, marketing of DTC is regulated by the Foodand Drug administration body indeed, DTC marketing has taken allforms. Nevertheless, marketing of DTC is always under the check ofethics and other regulations up to date it is legal in only threecountries that include New Zealand, United States of America, and Brazil (Ventola, 2011). However, in Brazil marketing is restricted tocertain drugs, the number of words, and the type and size of picturesthey portray to the public.

Inmy case, DTC has more benefits than shortcomings especially, whenpeople are cautious and enlightened. One of the benefits of theapproach is the wide platform for discussion provided DTC hasimproved the interaction process between patients and healthproviders. A research involving 2500 people, pointed out that DTCmarketing led to the disclosure of health issues and requests forpreventive drugs (Ventola, 2011). It is also clear that when requestsfor certain a drug increase, courtesy of DTC, it erupts discussionsabout the ailment that could not have arisen in the absence of DTCmarketing.

Educationis also another justification of DTC advertising. I believe that theprocess enlightens patients empowering them to seek for assistancefor particular health conditions. A study shows that 44% of patientsbelieve that DTC approach is educative and only 30% of doctorsbelieve so (Ventola, 2011).

DTCmarketing has helped patients to take prescribed drugs. It hasencouraged patients to be at the forefront when it comes to healthissues. Patients will always comply with the prescription and reorderfor other drugs when the dose is done. The study indicated that 81%appreciated the role the DTC marketing played in the compliance ondrug dosage.

Lastly,it gives room for diagnosis of other conditions since people open upand discuss conditions that were even shameful to discuss, likesexual dysfunction and pressure. Similarly, it aids the public toidentify some symptoms and seek medical attention.

Partiesresponsible for regulating compounding

Theterm is used to describe conditions where a certain pharmaceuticalproduct is manipulated to deal with a unique condition of a patient(Burton, 2013). This is achieved through a combination of certainingredients using particular tools.

Inthe U.S.A, the licensing and regulation process is done by individualstates three-year inspection program for compliance is also carriedout by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board. FDA hasauthority in the manufacturing of drugs and not like in this casewhere drugs are modified, regardless of whether it is done in theindustry or not. In the year 2013, however, the congress passed anamendment on the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to elucidatethe confines of FDA jurisdiction over traditional compounding. FDAhas powers to check on compounding waiting to receive prescriptions,compounding of drugs that are in the marketplace illegally,compounding from certain ingredients that are not certified by FDA,reception, storage, and usage of drugs that are not manufactured byFDA certified facilities, and compounding of third party drugs withan aim to resale and failure to conform to the laid down stateregulations pertaining compounding (Burton, 2013).

TheUnited States Laws on intellectual property

Article1, section 8 of the U.S.A constitution empowers the congress toexercise authority to grant individuals exclusive rights in line withtheir creations. The congress also has powers to regulate,interstate, and carry out country businesses as well as justifyingtheir legitimacy to rule over those areas. Intellectual property lawshave been approved by the congress (Comstock, 2010). Patents in U.S.Aconfer to inventors the right to make use of their innovations in themarketplace, or to make profits by selling the right to others.Patent rights may be valid up to 20 years depending on the type ofthe innovation (Sherman, 2014). Those items that are legible withinthis category include machines, improvements within the technologicalsector, and the manufactured good including the face of the item. Inmost cases, patent right is denied to obvious ideas, ideas that arenot useful, those that are immoral, and those that aretechnologically unpractical.

Thelaws of the U.S.A call for individuals to make a personal movetowards protecting their inventions against infringement.Infringement is used to denote the illegal use of intellectualproperty. This is done through the provision of notice to make theowner`s rights evident to the public. It also comes with additionalbenefits as the owner is able to defend himself legally and prosecuteany infringement in the legal systems. The notice is presented bymarking their innovations by the patent numbers offered to them bythe patent and trademark officers. A pending label is also legible tobar others from stealing the idea. In the case of infringement, thecases are always referred to the federal court (Comstock, 2010). Itis clear that the PharmCare Company was well versed with these lawsand might have rushed to register the idea before John rendering Johnan orphan of intellectual property. The company could compensate himby either giving a certain percentage of the company shares, buyingthe patent on a contract basis or thirdly by giving him permanentemployee on top notch positions to control the innovation plant.

Exampleof intellectual property theft recently

Agood example of intellectual theft is the recent Chinese raid on theCalifornia-based security company (Sherman, 2014). It was barely aweek after the meeting between the U.S.A president and the Chinesepresident on 25 September 2015 when China violated the agreementspassed. This act broke the reputation of China-based companies andalmost brought to halt the good relation that was being cultivatedbetween the two countries.


Inconclusion, it is clear that John’s wife and other litigants arevictims of circumstances. Their untimely deaths are as a result ofunethical and illegal approaches in the product safety and marketingdepartment of the CompCare Company. It is clear that AD23 has moreside effects which the company has ignored to address and focusedmore on the profit making department.

Johnshould come out bravely and enlighten the public on the effects ofthe drug. He should use his earlier information on the drug and thedeath of his wife to make his claims relevant. Whistleblowers areguaranteed state security once they make a complaint in the securityoffices. This is necessary since the issue is a threat to the entirecommunity. Maximum security should be accorded to him since he holdsthe secrets of the drug the company administration may do anything tostop him in order for them to continue making profits.


Boatrigh,J.(2015). Ethicsand Conduct of Business.London. Pearson Education Limited.

Burton,T. (2013). CompoundingPharmacists.New York. New York Times.

Comstock,G.L. (2010). LifeScience Ethics.Springer Science &amp Business Media.

Sherman,B. (2014). Themaking of the modern intellectual property Law.Cambridge. Cambridge University Press.

Ventola,J. (2011). “Direct-to-client”PhaemaceuticalsAdvertisement.Boston. Boston Globe Publishers.