The purpose of this paper is to examine and review the available literature on ethical/unethical behaviour of pharmaceutical companies and to determine the ethical issues, unethical behaviour by analysing, summarising and categorising the factors related to these issues and unethical behaviour as were studied during the period 2008-2017. Essentially, this paper presents a critical analysis of the available literature on the subject and avenues for future research.
This paper adopted the systematic review approach to achieve the purpose of this study and examines the most relevant literature from online existing database sources, available between 2008-2017 by using the keyword search method. Then studies are categorised and summarised, using previously developed theories and frameworks, which have provided evidence to the universal consensus that ethical behavioural outcomes are dependent on the interplay of individual, organisational and environmental factors and have reordered to fulfil the purpose.
The findings identify that ethical issues related to pharmaceutical companies as were studied during the period 2008-2017 are drug pricing, drug safety and gift-giving. The organisational variables appeared to be the dominant cause of these ethical issues and unethical practices along with other determinants such as environmental and stakeholders. A large number of studies were in the western country context. Theoretical research has studied more comparatively empirical studies.
This review provides insights for understanding the ethical issues, unethical behaviour and determinants related to these issues of pharmaceutical companies and provides insights where the literature is standing. This review only includes studies between 2008-2017, which are related to the ethical issue of pharmaceutical companies, therefore, the view is only of the past 10 years papers. This review provides gaps and insight into the source of ideas for future research and will help the researchers in guiding ethics-related information in the context of pharmaceutical companies.
This study will help the practitioners and policymakers in informing about the issues that required the urgent need to solve and will shed some light to focus and formulate strategies for successful competitive advantage. This study will help researchers who are seeking information related to ethics and ethical behaviour in pharmaceutical companies.
To the best of my knowledge, this review of understanding ethical/unethical behaviour in pharmaceutical companies of the past 10 years between 2008-2017 has not been done to date. This study is filling the gap by bringing all the information about ethics in pharmaceutical companies at one place, which works as an index of ethics-related study in this specific pharmaceutical company context.
The authors are grateful to the editor and anonymous IJPHM reviewers for their constructive comments to improve the quality of this article.
Marmat, G., Jain, P. and Mishra, P.N. (2020), "Understanding ethical/unethical behavior in pharmaceutical companies: a literature review", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPHM-03-2018-0016Download as .RIS
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