The Tylenol Scare Essay

2211 words - 9 pages

The Tylenol ScareIn October of 1982, Tylenol, the leading painkiller medicine in the United States at the time, faced a tremendous crisis when seven people in the Chicago area were reported dead after taking extra strength Tylenol capsules.An investigation reveled that someone had put 65 milligrams of cyanide into Tylenol capsules, which is 10,000 more milligrams than necessary to kill a person. The Tylenol was contaminated with cyanide from an outside source. The tampering occurred once the product reached the shelves. The Tylenol packages were removed from the shelves, infected with cyanide and returned to the shelves (R. Bell, 2007).The Johnson and Johnson Corporation had many questions to answer on how to handle the situation. Would they face the problem and fix it or would they make excuses because the cyanide was put into their product after the Tylenol was placed on store shelves? Johnson and Johnson needed to face two major problems. First, the safety of the consumer and employees, and secondly, how Johnson and Johnson was going to save its reputation and make sure that Tylenol was back on its feet. Would they not address these issues and take the chance on both monetary loss due to the low sales and public loss of respect?The Johnson and Johnson Corporation and CEO, James Burke, also had ethical issues involved with handling the situation. One ethical issue was responsibility. Would Johnson and Johnson accept responsibility for the Tylenol poisonings despite the fact that the cyanide laced Tylenol was contaminated by an external source outside the corporation? Would Johnson and Johnson feel a responsibility to its customers to eliminate the risk of more Tylenol deaths by pulling all products from Chicago area store shelves and/or stores throughout the nation? If Johnson and Johnson decided to take responsibility and pull their product where they ready to face the huge monetary loss on the organization? Were Johnson and Johnson, despite the risk to the corporation, willing to sacrifice profits to do what was right and saves lives along with saving their reputation? Or again would they not address these issues and take the chance on the monetary and public respect losses?The second ethical issue involved in the case was honesty. Would Johnson and Johnson be honest with the media and public concerning this issue and help calm the fears of customers and the public? Would the organization help to answer many of the questions the public had? If the corporation decides to face the public, take responsibility, and attempt to regain the marketplace, will these steps displayed by the corporation also help the public to trust in the organization again? (R. Bell 2007) Or would they not address these issues and take the chance on both monetary loss due to the low sales and public loss of respect?The crisis occurred in the autumn of 1982 when seven people in the Chicago area died after ingesting extra strength Tylenol that had been laced with...

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