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Review the following Case Study taken from your text, ands answer the critical thinking questions that follow:
You Scratch My Back
Adam is a sales rep for a leading pharmaceutical company. His company is in a fierce battle with its largest competitor over the highly lucrative blood pressure medication market. Blood pressure medication is a multibillion-dollar market in the United States, the largest-selling medication after drugs for cholesterol and diabetes. Adam’s company has the No. 1 drug and its competitor the No. 2 drug in the market, but like Coke and Pepsi, they are locked in a fierce battle for market share with aggressive marketing campaigns and sales promotions. The company has produced every possible giveaway item with the name of the drug on it, and the trunk and backseat of Adam’s company car (not to mention his garage) are crammed with boxes of those items to give away to any doctor who shows an interest in prescribing the medicine.
Today, Adam is visiting a new doctor. The office is actually one he has worked with for a long time, but the partners he knew recently sold their practice and retired, so Adam has a meeting with the new owner of the practice, Dr. Green. As Adam pulls into the parking lot, he has a problem finding a parking space. “This place is busier than ever,” he thinks. “I hope old Doc Stevens and his partners got a good price for this practice—it’s got to be a gold mine.”
In the waiting room, Adam sees all the old familiar faces behind the counter but notices that no one is smiling—all are very serious and focused on paperwork. Jennifer, the office manager, takes him back to Dr. Green’s office and leaves him with a word of advice: “Watch yourself, Adam; it’s not like the old days.”
After 15 minutes, Dr. Green walks in. Adam stands up and introduces himself and politely thanks Dr. Green for making time for him in his busy schedule. Dr. Green doesn’t smile or make small talk. He gets straight to the point: “Adam, is it? Well, Adam, let me explain my philosophy in working with pharmaceutical reps. The way I see it, you make as much money on your pills as you can until the patent runs out, and I’d like to see some of that money being spent for the benefit of this practice—lots of free samples for my patients and lots of evidence that your company appreciates my support of their medicines—do you follow me?”
Adam isn’t sure what “lots of evidence” means, but he is pretty sure that Dr. Green is about to explain it to him, so he nods and smiles.
“This practice represents a long-term investment for me, and I paid top dollar for it. Old man Stevens built a good base of patients, but I think we can do better—this place just needs a firm hand, and it will double in size within the year. Unfortunately, with growth comes additional expense. Did I mention I paid top dollar for this place?” Dr. Green suddenly stops and smiles—one of the most artificial smiles Adam has ever seen. “Here’s what I’m thinking, Adam. Rather than wasting money on notepads and pens that the other reps give me by the case, I’d like some support—we can call it marketing funds if you’d like—in decorating my office. Some high-end furniture worthy of a doctor with a growing practice—what do you think?”
Adam coughs, trying desperately to come up with an answer: “Well, sir, that’s a very unusual request, um, and while we greatly appreciate your support of our medicines, um, I don’t think I could get that approved by my regional manager.”
Dr. Green’s fake smile disappears as quickly as it had arrived. “Here’s the deal, Adam. I had a very productive meeting with a delightful young man named Zachary this morning. He works for your competition, I believe.”
Adam winces at the mention of Zach’s name.
“Zachary didn’t seem to think there would be a problem with such an unusual request. In fact, he has a friend who is an interior designer, and he was confident that her services could be included in those ‘marketing funds.’ So what are we going to do here?”
Critical Thinking Questions:
The four key points of a code of ethics are outlined in the “Making It Stick—Key Components of an Ethics Policy” section. If we assume that Adam’s company has such a code, what guidance could Adam find in those four key points?
Do you think Zachary is willing to provide those “marketing funds” to win the business away from Adam, or is Dr. Green just bluffing?
What should Adam do now?
Your submission should be a minimum of the one-half page in length. Please type the question as well as your answer. Cite any sources utilized in APA format.


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