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Case Title:

Pharma Majors in Developing Countries: An Extended Corporate Social Responsibility

Publication Year : 2005

Authors: Monami Sengupta, Umashanker Shastry

Industry: Health Care

Region:Global

Case Code: CSR0016

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment:  Not Available

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Abstract:
The developing countries have always had a crisis when it came to disease and medicine. With twelve major infectious diseases afflicting them and non-availability of drugs, their woes worsened due to pharmaceutical neglect of developing countries. Questions arise as to whether the pharma giants of developed countries were actually serving the people in such poor countries, where diseases like HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)/AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) and tuberculosis kill millions each day. Meanwhile the pharma majors were criticised for their profit-oriented business practices undermining social responsibility. In an effort to make drugs available, the governments of these countries took some initiatives, which led to reduction of prices of the patented drugs and the onset of generics in these markets.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To highlight social responsibility factor of the global giants and how crucial it can become for their survival in the future
  • To discuss significance of the WTO’s (World Trade Organisation) Doha declaration, which outlined the inclusion of compulsory licensing and parallel importing to serve the interests of the common man in such developing countries
  • To discuss the various drug donation programmes, private-public partnerships and the price war initiated by the introduction of generics in the developing countries.

Keywords : Industry Analysis Case Study; Social responsibility; Third World diseases and market; Drug patent regime; Intellectual property rights; Uruguay round of GATT (General Agreement of Trade and Tariffs); Pharmaceutical neglect; Pursuit of profit maximisation; NGO’s (Non-governmental organisation) criticism against pharma giants; Doha Agreement; Lawsuits and governments; The social front

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