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Current Ethical Issues In Business Phl 323

1320 words - 5 pages

Medical device manufacturers do not rely solely on advertising and superior product features alone to help sell their products. Many manufacturers are engaging in unethical marketing practices that include making financial payments to doctors who will agree to use their products to provide healthcare to their patients. Such practices, also known as kickbacks, are viewed by most reasonable people as unethical, and in some cases are illegal. Manufacturers have "hired" doctors to provide consulting services at enormous hourly rates when they have agreed to use their products. Such arrangements are simply a ruse to the underlying unethical and illegal practice of kickbacks. Critics of this practice argue that patient care is undermined when doctors are paid to recommend one medical device over another. Recent works by a spine surgeon, Dr. Charles Rosen, and US government actions within the industry, are helping reduce and control these unethical and illegal activities.This paper will provide details about this practice and what is being done to monitor and control it. The paper references as its primary source an article from Business Week on May 19, 2008 by Arlene Weintraub.The Basis of the IssueSome of the marketing practices of the medical device industry are very unethical, if not illegal. According to Business Week magazine (Weintraub, 2008), five medical device manufacturing companies were marketing their products to doctors and hospitals practices to use their medical devices and machinery in exchange consulting services fees that essentially equated to an illegal kick-back. These kickbacks influence the doctor to choose route of treatment that will provide them with the most income even though there might be a lower cost route to take. By accepting these "bribes" the doctor and the practice might be jeopardizing the individual's health by performing an unnecessary surgery just so that they can pocket just a little extra on their paycheck.Another key issue mentioned above is with the insurance companies involved with this article. Not only are the companies jeopardizing the health of the patients, putting the doctors licenses on the line and cheating the people out of their hard earned cash for a unnecessary surgery but they are also scamming the insurance company. The insurance company is paying out for a procedure that probably in most cases could have been avoided. Not only does this hurt that individual's plan but the more the insurance company pays out during that year the higher the premiums will rise in the upcoming years for all other members. So it hurts the community as a whole.Leadership Drives Ethical ChangesIn 2006, Dr. Charles D. Rosen founded the Association for Ethics in Spine Surgery. The mission of the association is to educate patients on how industry-physician relationships can influence medical treatment. "About 270 doctors have either joined the association or applied for membership, which entails vowing not to accept...

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