Pfizer should not undergo drug testing of Trovan in Nigeria because:
1) the motives and ethics of the testing are questionable and 2) neither Nigeria, Kano Hospital nor Pfizer are prepared for the implementation of tests. If the testing of Trovan is done hastily and sloppily, a public relations disaster and lawsuits could ensue, and Pfizer could lose a potentially lucrative pharmaceutical.
Pfizer deals in the business of lives, and when your business is centered on the most precious commodity in existence, there must be strict, unerring focus on morality and ethics. Claims that Pfizer is testing Trovan for the benefit of world health and to aid the suffering children in Nigeria are false; Pfizer’s motivation is money. During Trovan’s development, constant references are made to raising company share prices, saving money by testing in Nigeria, and the possibility that millions of dollars are being lost each day. To top it off, Pfizer is racing against an expiring patent that threatens to undercut its pharmaceutical prices by 90%. One pharmaceutical executive stated, “The quicker we can complete clinical trials, the more money for our companies.” Nowhere is it mentioned than Pfizer has a humanitarian agenda, or that it even cares for suffering victims.
I am not chastising Pfizer’s motivation in pharmaceutical production; I am only recognizing the company’s chief priority. Trovan has potential to become a hugely profitable antibiotic, and those in power at Pfizer are under tremendous pressure to gain FDA approval. However, executives cannot allow the desire to release Trovan quickly cause them to undertake sloppy testing procedures. Nigeria, although tempting due to cost and timing, is a poor place for Trovan to be tested for moral, organizational, and branding reasons.
The principle moral dilemma in Kano is that Pfizer is working...