A Moral Requirement to Raise Prices?

business_ethics_highlights_2This is perhaps an instance of an executive who is either bad at reasoning about ethics, or bad at talking about it.

The CEO quoted in the story below says both:
“I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can,” and “It is about the survival of the business. It has nothing to do with morality.” Which is it? Is morality relevant to business, or not?

As for the substance of the matter: If the product in question were clearly underpriced (compared to competitors), would we agree then that it would be morally required for the CEO to raise prices? What about if demand for the product (let’s say it’s a watch) is such that people would gladly pay even more than they’re currently paying. Would this be a business opportunity that the CEO would be obligated to grab hold of? The point: we need to think through what features of the situation make us skeptical (if we are skeptical) of the CEO’s claim, here?


LINK: Report: Pharma exec says he had ‘moral requirement’ to raise drug price 400% (by Wayne Drash for CNN)

A pharmaceutical company executive defended his company’s recent 400% drug price increase, telling the Financial Times that his company had a “moral requirement to sell the product at the highest price.” The head of the US Food and Drug Administration blasted the executive in a response on Twitter.

Nirmal Mulye, founder and president of Nostrum Pharmaceuticals, commented in a story Tuesday about the decision to raise the price of an antibiotic mixture called nitrofurantoin from about $500 per bottle to more than $2,300. The drug is listed by the World Health Organization as an “essential” medicine for lower urinary tract infections….

What do you think?

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