Big Pharma's Ethical Dilemma: Should They Keep Selling to Russia?

Tadhg Ó Laoghaire, a researcher in economic ethics at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, echoes Gillard: “They don’t have legal obligations to continue to provide goods to people.” But if they are not technically legally obliged, it’s still the moral thing to do, he continues. Pharmaceutical companies play a very niche role—“it’s not like someone else can just step in and fill these human rights.” If they choose to supply essential pharmaceutical goods to Russia, and then pull them away, that’s not just letting human rights violations happen, says Ó Laoghaire: “In a very real sense, they’re instigating those violations.”

But not everyone thinks the industry has watertight immunity to

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