Unethical Research Behavior Research Paper Sample


Business Research Ethics

Business Research Ethics
For any research to be successful there is a need for ethics and the associated behaviors. Business organizations must ensure that ethical behaviors are followed when performing any activity, especially the ones related to business research (Belkin, 2013). Business research is a systematic inquiry that leads to the provision of information necessary for managerial decisions. The purpose of the research is to enable companies to access valuable information concerning customer service, company policies and the buying habits of the consumers. However, unethical research can damage the image of the company. Business research that is unethical isdescribed by many factors. These could be due to asking questions that are not appropriate, skewing research results and using the information of the participant for purposes that are not intended (Belkin, 2013). The paper discusses unethical business research conduct of a pharmaceutical company.

A vaccine maker pharmaceutical known as GSK was involved in unethical business research conduct, which resulted in their conviction in the court of law (Belkin, 2013). The case reveals how the drug companies manipulate the research studies in order to come up with the intended results that are positive. The academic literature concerning medication is always disrupted by a publication that is selective. The studies having negative results are not published and the studies having positive results with mixed outcomes are selectively published (Belkin, 2013). The selective publication of results is what was observed in the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) pharmaceutical company.
GSK funded many academic institutions between the year 1993 and 1998 to research into paroxetine (Belkin, 2013). The results of the research were published by Martin Keller who was the leader in the year 2001. In the article, it was concluded that paroxetine can be tolerated and it is effective for the depressions that occur in adolescents. The published results were a misrepresentation concerning the safety and effectiveness of the drug. In all the eight outcome measures set out by the company proved negative. Children on paroxetine did not do better on all the measures than those on placebo (Belkin, 2013).
The published results misrepresented one of the key outcomes in order to appear positive, replacing all the six pre-specified outcomes with measures that are more favorable (Belkin, 2013). The article did not also include the adverse events of the paroxetine whereby at least eight adolescents had emergent suicidal ideas. The article instead described some as emotional liability leaving others out altogether. The staff was aware that the research did not support the efficacy claim but did not reveal it because the company would incur losses.
The company also promoted Wellbutrin drug that was approved for weight loss, sexual dysfunction treatment among other uses (Belkin, 2013). The company paid doctors millions to attend and speak at meetings and also carried education programs in order to promote the drug for the unapproved uses. Between 2001 and 2007, the company did not include the safety data about the Avandia drug used in the treatment of diabetes in their reports to the FDA (Belkin, 2013). This could enable the FDA to determine the safety of a drug for the approved indications.

The Injured Parties

The products of the GSK Company had many effects to the users. The company introduced Paxil drug for treating adolescent patients having depressions (Belkin, 2013). The study revealed that the drug did not have efficacy because there were negative results observed. The drug injured the eight adolescents who were self harmed or had emergent suicidal ideas. The Avandia drug caused health problems to the patients because it increases the risk of heart failure and heart attack (Belkin, 2013).

How the Unethical Behavior Affected the Organization

The unethical behavior of the GSK had drastic effects leading to their conviction in the court of law. The company allegedly published an article supporting the effectiveness and safety of the pixel drug (Belkin, 2013). The research carried by the company was found to be unethical misbranding Paxil giving a false labeling that misleads regarding the use of the drug for the adolescent patients. The company also misbranded Wellbutrin because the labeling did not have enough directions for the off-label uses. Due to the misbranding offenses of the two drugs, the company was charged a fine of $ 757,387,200. For failing to provide the FDA with the data regarding the safety of the Avandia drug, the company was fined $ 242,612,800 for the unlawful conduct (Belkin, 2013). The company also paid $ 2 billion for resolving the civil liabilities under the False Claims Act.

How the unethical behavior could be avoided

The main reason for the GSK pharmaceutical company to publish the misrepresented report was to enable them get more income (Belkin, 2013). The staff was aware of the misconduct but could not reveal for fear of losing income. The unethical behavior of the GSK Company could be avoided mainly through carrying out the research with a lot of trust and not bribing the researchers to manipulate the results (Belkin, 2013).
In conclusion, it is important for various business organizations to apply ethical behaviors in their daily activities especially the business research. The unethical behaviors in business research have drastic effects and should be avoided at all cost. The behavior can affect the society directly or indirectly. The business organization also risks being convicted in the court as well as losing its image, thus losing profits as a result.


Belkin, M. (2013, August 30). Health Impact News Daily. Retrieved from http://healthimpactnews.com/2012/pharmaceutical-company-forced-to-pay-3-billion-over-faking-research-bribing-doctors/