Research Ethics in Africa Custom Essay
The dilemma that the multinational pharmaceutical company faced in Case # 37 as it enters the third phase of the clinical trials raises the moral responsibilities of the company as a researcher, scientist, business, and a fellow human being. Phase III of the clinical trials signify the final or at least next-to-final stages in the research trials, ensuring that the drug itself is effective and safe for usage throughout. With approval and success so close at hand, the collaboration between the pharmaceutical company and the researchers and scientists in Africa can only lead to victory for both sides in a quicker manner. Unfortunately, the negotiations between the company/researchers and the representatives of the host country involved raise the question and internal fight of the business, selfish, and self-glorified sides of human nature versus the philanthropic and humanistic emotions of the Homo sapiens race.
In respond to the request of the company to perform the study on the children of the African country after acquiring the informed consents from the mothers, the host country asked that the company look further into ensuring a more effective translation and conveyance of the trial protocols, involvements, adverse effects, and knowledge of the study to the patient. In addition, the representatives of the country also request that if the vaccination proves effective and safe then all children in the country should get free vaccinations for a total of five years. As the company responded to the demands that the country post, to comply would put the company at a huge loss at which the sales of the vaccination may not be able to return and make a profit that can benefit the company and research alone. It will also undermine the company’s research in other countries, and thus, they’d have to refuse.
These demands, although great and beneficial for the unfortunate children, are very one-sided. As humans and
scientists, the research aims to cure and help anyone and everyone in needs. Yet, as a company and a business
endeavor, the researchers cannot forget their roles in society and to help circulate the economy. The trial
responsibilities lay only with the participants and the benefits of the trials should be shared with these
patients after full and complete consents were attained. To have to take on the duty of ensuring a malaria-free
country is too important and huge for a company to bear alone. The government should have a hand in this as well
and maybe a better compromise can come of it, benefitting both sides.
The ethical issues behind clinical research trials in third world countries have raised many red flags and
concerns for many people and groups. In assessing and asserting the righteous morality used during the studies, regulations and guidance of various levels were put in place for the best of both sides. The aims of maintaining the moral responsibilities and ethical issues for the testers and the patients participating in the trials are closely regulated and reviewed to ensure that moral procedures were utilized. Most businesses face criticisms from others as being too money-hungry, forgetting that these are people and without the capital and income they too will suffer. Ethical regulations focus on ensuring that participants are not taken advantage of; however, certain demands cause some to have to re-think who is taking advantage of whom and what is best for both groups, not just one.
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