Business / Dalkin Shield Ethics
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Autor: anton 27 May 2011
Words: 672 | Pages: 3
The Dalkon Shield Analysis
The article about the Dalkon Shield shows how forgetting your ethical responsibilities to the customer can lead to costly mishaps. In this case it led to the downfall of a one hundred year old company because of their lack of ethics. Coupled with this is the awful way they went about marketing their product. When you become more focused on the success of your product and not the well being of your customers, the company will suffer.
Throughout the article you see a number of missteps that the company took in dealing with the marketing of the Dalkon Shield. The only contraceptive out on the market at the time was an oral one. Thus, Robins saw the need to enter the market quickly and become firmly planted in it. Unfortunately in doing so, many decisions he made were with little deliberation. Being well versed on your product is a must when entering a new market. Robins however had no previous experience whatsoever. He chose not to have a single gynecologist or obstetrician on his staff and neglected to conduct his own testing of the product. They instead relied on very limited research that had been done by the inventors of the Shield. Robbins then rushed the product to market, bypassing the FDA(manufacturers did not have to file an NDA demonstrating that it had established relative safety with reliable and sufficient clinical and animal testing).
When it came time to advertise the product, Robins used much of the product information and advertising from Davis and Lerner (the inventors of the Shield). These people obviously had a certain stake in the success of the product so they certainly werenâ€™t going to say anything bad about it. Physicians were thereby misled into thinking the research was objective and unbiased. In fact the research that had been done was flawed. Robinsâ€™ ads claimed that the Shield had a low pregnancy rate of 1.1 percent. Later studies showed the pregnancy rate ranged from 5 to 10 percent. Even after these statistics were brought to his attention he continued to the use the 1.1 percent rate in his advertising. Claims that no anesthetic was required turned out to be false after a number of physicians complained about the difficulty of insertion. Most shocking though was the evidence that came out suggesting the company itself knew the Shield was problematic less than a month after it acquired the rights.
While I agree with Robins that seeing a need for a product in a certain market and trying to beat competitors to that market is sound business strategy, there are many things he should have done differently. Being open with your customers is a big part of marketing. Donâ€™t tell them an exaggerated statistic, because there are research companies out there (Consumer Reports) that do tests of there own and will bring the real numbers out to the public. This is in turn will make your company look bad and will lead to a loss of customers. Withholding information is a bad business approach too. It seems that the Robins Company knew well in advance that there product had problems with it. But they let money get in the way and instead rushed the product out into the marketplace without running safety tests. Robins should have instead run the necessary tests to see if indeed the product should be sold, and if the tests had turned up a failure then the Dalkon Shield needed to be pulled.
When you start to see a problem with your product such as defects, sales loss, etc... You the manager need to take the necessary steps to either stop the problems or production of the product all together. Robins however, in face of mounting problems, even a case of death, did nothing. He just rode his product until the product and his greed rode him and his company into bankruptcy. This case is a classic example of a lack of ethics and responsibilities ruining an otherwise well run company.
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