Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Dengvaxia Causing Death in Children (2016-Present)

Image result for dengvaxiaIn March of 2019 the Philippines stated that criminal charges would be placed against officials of Sanofi Pasteur. Sanofi Pasteur is a French pharmaceutical company that produces a vaccine called Dengvaxia which is a vaccine to cure the dengue virus. Outrage began when 10 children who were vaccinated had fatal side effects to taking the vaccine. This paper will look at four different ethical theories which are (the virtue theory, Kantianism, Individualism, and Utilitarianism). These four theories will be evaluated and considered ethical or unethical. According to Individualism  Sanofi Pasteur was ethical when it came to maximizing profits for the vaccine. However they were not lawful while doing so because of the effects that the vaccine had on the patients. According to Utilitarianism this vaccine caused more hurt then it did happiness therefore it is unethical. Kantianism on the other hand will argue that the case is unethical because of the lack of knowledge and loyalty they had towards the people who were taking the vaccine. This case would be unethical according to the Virtue Theory. Sanofi Pasteur was not honest, or had justice or fairness for the people that were affected by the vaccine therefore this is unethical. I would suggest that the company should have been more careful and had more knowledge on the vaccine before giving it to people.


As for stakeholders there are many that are affected. First off the people who were vaccinated are affected, for example  the 10 children who ended up dying, and many other people that have taken the vaccine with fatal results. Just like any vaccine there can be side effects and  the negative side effects are encouraged to be reported immediately. People that have taken the vaccine are at the most risk. Another stakeholder is Dr. Eric Domingo, who is a spokesperson in the Philippine department of health as stated before.  It is there responsibility to make sure the vaccine is safe for use and to ban the vaccine if necessary. It was said by Dr. Eric Domingo that “The Dengvaxia vaccine ban will not be lifted any time soon. I don’t agree with this because of how many people have already been affected by the vaccine and Dr. Eric Domingo and  the Philippine department of health knowing about these side effects. Another major stakeholder would be the FDA. The FDA ordered that the market pulls out of the vaccine shortly after Sanofi’s announcement that the Dengvaxia vaccine could cause severe dengue fever if it was given to those who haven’t been exposed to the disease prior. In January of last year the FDA suspended the sale of Dengvaxia for a year and fined Sanfoli for failing to comply with post-marketing authorization requirements for the vaccine.

Image result for sanofi pasteur


The virtue theory focuses on four main characteristics. These characteristics must be met for a business to be considered ethical. The four main characteristics of virtue are courage, honesty, temperance/self control and justice/fairness. Courage in this case represents the risk taking and willingness to distribute the vaccine, even after what happened to the people that took it. The vaccine was made very fast so that it can be distributed immediately, not giving enough time to put the proper thought and care into it. The second characteristic is honesty which is a agreement to be truthful to the employees and to the customers buying the product. Sanofi Pasteur was not honest when it came to distributing the vaccine making sure it was for safe use for everyone determining whether it may be for people who have been and haven’t been exposed to the disease prior. The next virtue is temperance which means the company has to be realistic when it comes to their expectations and desires. The expectations of Sanofi Pasteur was that the vaccine was going to be the cure for the Dengue Fever. Instead this was not the case leaving people with negative side effects and even death. They consisted on maximizing profit when people were in danger. The expectations were too risky and there was not enough thought and care that was put into it. The last characteristic is justice which is to work hard and to make quality products. This is something that Sanofi Pasteur did not do considering that the products were not safe and caused harm to people who took the vaccine. Sanofi Pasteur would be considered unethical according to the four characteristics.


According to Individualism, Sanofi made the vaccine and was profiting off of the vaccine while people were being affected greatly by the vaccine. Some people even having fatal side effects after taking the Dengvaxia vaccine. Sanofi and the Philippine department of health were very naive when it came to the vaccine. Sanofi thought that this approach was a good approach because of the long term investments that was put into the company and the vaccine. Sanofi’s approach was that if everyone took the vaccine that everyone would be happy and that the company would be making a profit. By making sure the vaccine was safe and ready for distribution they could have avoided this and still made max profit.


According to Kantianism business ethical theory, the rational decisions need to be ethical. The decisions that are made need to be motivated from your duty and not self interest. Being ethical means practicing the rules and standards of being ethical. A business should never be exempt from rules or standards under no circumstances, the business should be honest and loyal to their customers no matter what the circumstances. If Sanofi Pasteur acted ethical there would have been no deaths following the vaccine and there would be no charges against them. Sanofi Pasteur could have easily taken the time to make sure the vaccine was safe for use and distribution but instead it was rushed and because of that negative things happened.


According to the Utilitarianism theory the action is considered ethical if it promotes happiness to the maximum amount of people. Ultimate happiness and pleasure are the only two characteristics that should be considered in Utilitarianism. The people who took the vaccine were not happy because of the side effects that were involved when taking the vaccine and were not known prior on how and when to take it. For the people who took the vaccine and were not exposed to Dengue prior were did not find pleasure because of the negative side effects and even fatal results. Sanofi Pasteur is not happy that there company’s name has to be involved in this tragedy. The customer's or people that took this vaccine are not happy because of how the vaccine was not 100% ready for use and how it took a wrong turn. All around no one is happy with the vaccine disaster and how it all played out.

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