State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Professionalism Ethics Blog #3

Brandon again for another fanastic edition of the Ethics blog series entering week 3! This week I chose to do a blog based on the article "Life-Saving Generics vs. Pharmaceutical Innovation" on the 4/1 edition of the Ethics Newsline. The Article can be found at:


Basically, this article discusses  the pharmaceutical company Novartis's quarrel with India in their production of the generic version of the leukimia drug, "Gleevec." This brings in a couple of questions of ethics on both parties of this battle.

1. Is it ethical for Novartis to charge $70,000 annually for a drug another company profits from $2500 annually?

While in the article it states the brand name companies contend that the profits are essential for the development and manufacture of innovative medicines, I don't believe that a $67,500 gap in price is essential for anything other than lining the CEOs' wallets. Thinking about it, most people that need these medicines even make 70K in even two years, and thats without factoring in the cost of living on top of the already staggering medical costs these days! Some people are fortunate enough to have great insurance benefits, but in these trying times most of us can't even afford insurance anymore.


2. Should India be able to produce generic drugs?

Morally, with respect for the betterment of human life, I definitely agree. My parents save tons of money with buying the generic drugs. It's a double whammy positive. You can afford to be healthy while saving a load of money at the pharmacy.

Ethically with respect to business, maybe not so much. As an engineering student I completely understand the importance of patents and why copying ideas is wrong. In the last part of the article, they mentioned the claim was tossed out saying that the patent was expired, which would deem any product fair game across the world.


Overall, Generics are definitely a good thing for the masses. Anyone could tell you that they or one of their family members have saved a bunch of money by choosing the generic version. Also another thing to think about is how many of the "Great Value" generic brand food items do you put in your cart when you shop?

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