Document Type


Publication Date



The question of the ethics of drug pricing is a fairly new topic. Discussion started publicly in March of 2005 when an article in “The Economist” raised questions about many of the practices that have been going in this industry for years, like overpricing drugs that are no better than their replacements, and taking that profit to further advertise the products direct-to-consumer. This discussion has led to a question many Americans ask today: Are these companies putting profits ahead of people?

What is legally permissible is not always an ethical business practice, especially in the instance of profiting from healthcare. Law tells an individuals or groups what right(s) they have, ethics demonstrate the right thing to do. The public has given more focus to the clinical provision of healthcare than to the business side when considering the ethics of general healthcare. This is a trend that is beginning to change, as pharmaceutical companies have been engaging in questionable actions without any repercussions for a long time (Weber 6). The question this paper looks to answer is, what does an ethical price increase on a pharmaceutical product look like and can other systems provide us solutions to the issue of high drug prices in America.


Faculty mentor: Dr. Wendy Sterba, Ph.D. Professor of Languages and Cultures, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.