What ethical dilemmas does this situation pose for drug companies?

Assignment: Discussion—Ethics and IPR

IPR protect drug companies from others making their products without the expense of investing in research and development. IPR also enable drug companies to recoup research and development (R&D) costs by charging more for a drug than the marginal cost of producing it.

One result of this strategy, however, is that unless a company can charge enough to cover the costs of R&D and production, it has no incentive to develop and produce a drug; no matter how important that drug may be to certain populations, for example, the poor in third-world countries.

  • What ethical dilemmas does this situation pose for drug companies?
  • Do other types of companies face similar dilemmas?

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