On the edge-working for eli lilly and company

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Reference no: EM13523032

On the Edge: Working for Eli Lilly & Company

Before a newly discovered drug is approved for sale, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) requires that it be tested on healthy humans to determine whether it has dangerous side effects. Unfortunately, most healthy people will not take an untested substance that is not intended to cure them of anything and that may have crippling or deadly effects. Test subjects can die, suffer paralysis, organ damage, and other chronically debilitating injuries. Eli Lilly, a large pharmaceutical company, however, discovered a group of volunteers willing to take untested drugs for only $ 85 a day plus free room and board: homeless alcoholics desperate for money recruited in soup kitchens, shelters, and jails. Since tests run for months, the men can make as much as $ 4,500 a hefty sum to someone surviving on handouts. The tests provide enormous benefits for society and many tests might not be performed at all but for the pool of homeless alcoholics. Moreover, providing the men with a warm bed, food, and good medical care before sending them out drug- and alcohol- free and with money in their pockets seems beneficial. The FDA requires that participants in such medical tests must give their informed consent and make a truly voluntary and uncoerced decision. Some question whether the desperate circumstances of hungry, homeless, and penniless alcoholics allow them to make a truly voluntary and uncoerced decision. When asked, one homeless drinker hired to participate in a test said he had no idea what kind of drug was being tested on him even though he had signed an informed- consent form.

1. Discuss Eli Lillys practice from the perspectives of utilitarianism and rights.

Reference no: EM13523032

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