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Moral Reasoning



Moral reasoning usually refers to a conscious mental action that involves the transformation of given information about people in order to reach a moral judgment (Haidt, 2001). In moral reasoning, an individual can either use logic or perception to try to differentiate right and wrong in a given situation. Each day people face moral questions, and this is a challenge to them as they have to reason carefully so as to make good moral decisions (Groarke, 2011).

GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world leading pharmaceutical whose main aim of existence is to promote healthy living. This company was involved in a fraud case as a result of unlawfully promoting antidepressants drugs and failure to report safety data about Avandia to Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The ethical issues raised by GlaxoSmithKline for promoting the use of these drugs was that it would help people who had conditions like sexual dysfunction and excessive weight as it would assist in weight loss, substance addictions and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. GlaxoSmithKline had published misleading information about the efficiency of these in helping to curb the problem the problem of depression. The promotion of these drugs was morally unethical as the use of anti-depressants according to earlier researches had proved to contribute to suicidal thoughts especially among young people. The role of this global company which is to provide better health care to the society seemed to have changed as it appeared to be more interested in making millions from the consumers while putting innocent people at risk of committing suicide. This was in contrast to the utilitarianism principle which seeks to do more good than harm to more people as the company would have more economic benefits at a cost of more cases of suicide especially young people being reported (Timothy, 2008).

Authorization for the use of a drug after being manufactured before distribution to the public for use is crucial as some of the drugs may not be suitable for the specified purpose. Therefore, it was morally unacceptable for GlaxoSmithKline to make unsupported claims about the drug to failing to release data on Avandia to FDA. The drug meant to cure diabetes had been earlier proved to be contributing to the increase of heart complications like a heart attack. GlaxoSmithKline should have practiced the moral principle of care which would help them in making a decision that would not be based on exploiting its customers, but rather to care for their well-being. It is morally or unethical wrong for a drug company to provide irrelevant information and give misleading information about the safety of a drug as this may endanger or cause complications to the lives of people that the drug was meant to help (Greene, 2007).

GlaxoSmithKline had various tactics of winning approval of the acceptance of the use of its drugs like, offering fully paid trips for doctors to visit various destinations like Bermuda and Jamaica and also hunting excursions. The bribing of doctors by pharmaceutical companies to prescribe their drugs is unethical and heavy fines should be imposed on the offenders. Using doctors to prescribe drugs should not be seen as a legitimate way of marketing. Instead, it should be viewed as against the law and the medical profession. This will discourage doctors and pharmaceutical companies who want to market medical products which are not suitable for use by the public (Louis, 2011). This will ensure that doctors do not get influenced by monetary gains, but instead they practice the virtual principle by doing what is morally right by speaking against drugs and pharmaceutical companies that produce products that are harmful to human beings.

Global food and beverage companies should be morally obligated to consider the consequences for public health while marketing and distributing certain kinds of food and drink products.  When consumed some of these food and drink products have some effects on the healthy living of people as they cause obesity. Research conducted shows that the number of people affected by obesity is growing. This can be attributed to the kind of food and beverages that they eat on a daily basis. An example is Mexico where a third of its adult population is obese. Hence these large beverage and food companies should follow the utilitarianism principle which will guide in making decisions that are morally right. They should inform the consumers to avoid excessive consumption of some of their products as they may shorten their lifespan (Ross, 1931).

Some of the marketing techniques of used by these food and beverage companies are not moral. Their interest is to make their products available to the people by lowering their normal prices. This makes the products more affordable, but the companies fail to inform the consumers on the health risk that they are exposing themselves to as a result of daily consumption of these products. In this case, the companies fail to practice the principle of care by concentrating more on their sales than welfare of the people who in the end may become obese due to overconsumption of the products.

In these two cases between the pharmaceuticals and food and beverage companies mostly there is a similarity between the principles and standard of conduct. The principles should be applied for the benefit of consumers and not concentrated on financial gains of the producers. In moral reasoning, an individual can either use logic or perception to try to differentiate right and wrong in a given situation Both the companies should produce products that will promote the healthy living of human beings.

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