2359 x Academic and Professional Skills


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Question :

For the completion of this assessment, following questions are given below:

  • Define whether the company is considered as a successful if it is not following the ethical factors. Use the case study to illustrate the answer.
  • In order to protect themselves from all the unethical behaviour, explain how an organisation do from the case study?
Answer :


Success can be defined as the element which is required by all the companies to sustain in the market. It means a lot to the business entities because if they are not able to acquire it then it may result in decreased growth and profitability. The main element which is required to be focused to achieve it is ethic. When an enterprise is performing all the business operations in ethical manner then it may contribute to its success (Dyer, 2018). Unethical behaviour of organisations affect the success which is acquired by them. This report is based upon the case study of Purdue Pharma which is manufacturing a drug named OxyContin. It is Pharmaceutical company owned by Sackler family and the medicine which is sold by it is highly addictive and resulting in increased number of deaths. The organisation has attained higher level of success with the help of its medication because it was highly effective in the relief of pain. Due to its unethical behaviour its success is being impacted as the doses of opioids in its medicine. Its medication was causing deaths for individuals and high level of addiction. In order to deal with this problem it is very important for the organisation to make sure that it perform all the operations in ethical manner as it will help to retain the success. All the unethical activities of the organisation has resulted in bad market image and legal interferences in the business operations of Purdue Pharma. This report describes success from different perspectives such as the organisation, public, medical professionals and patients.



Main aim of this report is to analyse the circumstances in which Purdue Pharma was performing business activities in unethical manner and find the ways in which the company can overcome the issues faced by it.

Can an organisation be described as successful if it is not ethical

In U.S. The death rate is continuously increasing and it is around 49000 per years. Purdue Pharma is one of the major drug selling pharmaceutical companies that are selling medications to the individuals. One of the main medicine which is sold by it is OxyContin which is highly effective in chronic pain. Due to this it was the mostly prescribed tablet by the doctors in UK. In earlier years the company acquired higher level of success but with passage of time it started to perform business in unethical manner by increasing the percentage of opioid in the medicine. Due to this number of deaths and addiction among patients was increased (Dyer, 2018). Analysis its success from different perspectives is as follows:

Success from the perspective of Purdue Pharma and the way in which it is affected by unethical behaviour: Purdue Pharma is one of the leading medication selling companies of U.S. Due to highly effective tablet OxyContin the organisation attained success in the market. It has also resulted in higher profits for it. After some time success of company got affected due to its unethical behaviour. The doses of opioid in the tablet was very high which was causing addiction and deaths for patients (Purdue Pharma Lawsuits, 2019). According to company it is not their fault that individuals are becoming addictive to their medication because only 2 tablets are required to be taken in 24 hours but if they are taking more than it then it is their fault. Another way of operating business in unethical manner was spending a higher amount in the marketing of this medicine which was influencing doctors to prescribe it to their patients. Conferences were also conducted in which doctors and medical professionals all around US were invited. It has resulted in increased demand of their medicine and its side effects. All these ways of running operations in unethical manner has affected success of Purdue Pharma and resulted in lower profits which was not good for its financial condition. Due to its unethical practices its market image, success, profitability etc. got affected and resulted in decreased income and revenues (Dyer, 2019). Different lawsuits were also claimed against it which are taking place because of its wrong way of carrying out operational activities.

Success from the perspective of public and the way in which it is affected by unethical behaviour: Purdue Pharma is selling a medicine which is OxyContin prescribed by doctors in US for the purpose of provide relief their patients from chronic pain. The percentage of opioid in this medicine was very high which was resulted in deaths and addiction of individuals and affected the success of the organisation (Dyer, 2019). According to general public who are consuming the medicine Purdue Pharma is putting profits before people as it only wants to generate profit by risking lives of individuals. The organisation has claimed that there are clear instructions that patients are required to take only 2 tablets in 24 hour period if they are taking more than that then Sackler Family is not responsible. In year 2010 the patent for selling and manufacturing OxyContin was expired but at this time the enterprise admitted that there are some issues with the

Success from the perspective of medical staff and the way in which it is affected by unethical behaviour: Medical staff or professional are required to prescribe the medicines with the objective to overcome the problem faced by people. Usually the patients trust the prescription of doctors in order to cure the specific problem. So the medical staff need to adopt the ethical practices and avoid the gifts gained from any supplier or pharmaceutical company (Gulland, 2018). As Purdue pharma conducts the paid conferences or meeting with the medical staff in order to promote their medicine which is OxyContin. These medicines are widely prescribed the doctors as a painkiller, but it had the addictive nature due to overdose of opioids that affected the lives of people. So this was the unethical practice adopted by the Sackler family that even includes the doctors or medical staff which finally disturb the lives of people. The high demand due to intensive promotion and prescription of doctors affect the profitability and dropped the market. Thus, it is vital for the medical staff that they need to gain the deep knowledge about the medicine before promoting it and most importance they should not make the judge only on the basis of premium gifts.

Success from the perspective of patients and the way in which it is affected by unethical behaviour: Patients are the people who consumed OxyContin medicine based on the prescription of doctors and get the instant relief from the chronic pains. But there were not known about the side effects of this medicine that it has the addictive nature and causes death of 10, 000 people. Just to gain the success in monetary term and enhance market share the company extensively promoted its medicine. They befouled to both patients as well as medical staff of the US. When the patients imposed the law suits against the company it claimed that it was the mistake of patients as they should not enhance the consumption limit (Terplan, 2017). Along with that the representative of Purdue pharma convey that their drug was coated with outer shell that help to overcome the pain suffered by people but one can only have two dozes in one day. Although later on various law cases are accused against them due to high component of opioid. Thus, the unethical practice of the Purdue Pharma affected the lives of people which even affected their goodwill as well as position. So these practices which are harmful for the external stakeholders can not give the desirable result in long run (Schwab, 2019).

What actions the organisation can take in order to protect them from the unethical behaviour

On the basis of case study, Sackler family has followed the unethical way as they well were known about the high component of opioid on their OxyCotin medicine which can affect the lives of people. But still they just focused to earn the revenue instead of thinking for the safety measures associated with the people as well as their health. Although they earned the success but it was not considered as effective and potential way to conduct the business. But there are certain ways taht can be opted by the Sackler family in order to overcome the unethical practices like they need to stop the further promotion of the OxyContin along with the manger can release the press where they ask the audience as well as medical staff to stop using the OxyContin. To further discontinue the use of such drug the company can discontinue the production as well as sales of the medicine. Apart from the further supply the existing medicine which can be in different retail store needs to be removed from shelf to preserve the life of people (Humphreys, Caulkins and Felbab-Brown, 2018). This can help the company to safeguard the lives of people and preserve the interest of external stakeholder for the adequate functioning of business.


On basis of above report it has been concluded that success is essential for all the individual as well as business because it helps to attain the preferable position. But it is vital that the organisation need to use the ethical practices as well as values in order to gain the better position. Otherwise selecting the unethical behaviour is the ineffective practice that can hamper the profitability of firm. As it has been clearly depicted from the case study of Sackler family that they only give priority to the monetary benefits gained from the unethical practices. Additionally, after knowing the harmful cause associated with increasing component of opioid they still engaged their strategies in aggressive promotion. Such careless led imposition of various law suits that the image of company at stake.

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Based on case study certain recommendation that can mitigate the chances of unethical behaviours for the Sacker family are explained below:

  • It is vital for all the pharmaceutical company that they need to test the product significantly before launching it in market. Along with the they should share all the vital details to the customer so that they does not get misguided and consume something which is not good for their survival. So to rebuild the image Sackler family should bring necessary modification to their inferior where they serve their target market effectively.
  • Sackler family should desirably put their viewpoints forward and can conduct the necessary sessions in order to explain the situation to patients. Along with that they need to make valuable effort where they remove the existing product that is OxyContin from the various outlet.
  • Once all the existing medicine are removed from outlet to reduce the chances of further accidents. Then on the other medicines all the details need to be described in the packaging of the product. So that the patients remain self awarenesses that how much doses of the particular medicine they can have in a day.
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