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Dalkin Shield Ethics

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Autor: 24  •  May 27, 2011  •  672 Words (3 Pages)  •  979 Views

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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 weren'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. Robins' 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


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