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Business Research Ethics
RES/351 Business Research

Business Research Ethics
Lawsuits were filed against CVS Caremark pharmacies for disclosing patient information in the interest of financial gain. The first lawsuit was filed on March 7, 2011, for “unauthorized disclosure of protected health information constituted an unfair trade practice (Hunton & Williams LLP, 2011, p. 1 p. 1).” The second lawsuit charged CVS Caremark pharmacy with “racketeering under the federal RICO law, trade secret misappropriation and violations of the HIPAA privacy Act (Goedert, 2010, p. 14 p. 3).” The following information will explain what unethical research behavior was involved, who the injured parties were, how the unethical behavior affected CVS Caremark pharmacy, and how the unethical behavior could have been avoided or resolved. The results of the information will demonstrate that moral judgment is skewed when combining ethical decisions with financial gain.
CVS Caremark extracts personal patient and pharmacy data to isolate patient demographic information, drug history, medical providers, health behavior, health plan benefits and the patient preference of communication without obtaining patient permission (Goedert, 2010). This data provides CVS Caremark marketing department the ability to contact patients and physicians in effort to change their prescription habits to financially benefit CVS Caremark’s bottom-line. CVS Caremark sent letters to the patient’s physicians to encourage them to prescribe particular medications created by pharmaceutical manufacturers in exchange for profit (Hunton & Williams LLP, 2011). The unethical research behavior involves the disclosure of protected health information would violate the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s bans against disclosing protected health information for marketing purposes without an individual’s authorization, RICO law and…...

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