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Abbott and the AIDS Crisis (A)
Werhane, Patricia H.; Mead, Jenny Case E-0311 / Published February 29, 2008 / 10 pages.
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Product Overview

In 1999, the 20-year-old AIDS crisis had ravaged many developing countries and, in particular, on the continent of Africa. Of the estimated 33.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide in 1998, almost two-thirds (22 million) were in sub-Saharan Africa, considered the "global epicenter" of the disease. Already 12 million had died, and life expectancy in the region plummeted from 62 years to 47. Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories had responded at the start of the AIDS outbreak by developing the HIV diagnostic test kit and then, later in the crisis, developed some of the state-of-the-art HIV/AIDS drugs. Abbott executives, led by new CEO Miles White, wanted to address the crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, but in a specific, efficient, and effective way. This case details the evolution of the AIDS crisis, Abbott Laboratories' HIV/AIDS drug production, and the company's efforts?in 1999?to find other ways to battle HIV/AIDS globally.


Learning Objectives

1. Consider how values apply to management decisions, particularly in the shifting context of the global marketplace. 2. Identify ways a company's strategy, mission, and values may be relevant to ethics decisions both short- and long-term. 3. Increase students' awareness of the interaction between a company's business operations and its philanthropic arm. 4. Learn more about conflicting stakeholder expectations, values, and demands and how to prioritize among them. 5. Understand the policy and ethical issues involved in a business relationship between developed and developing countries. 6. Demonstrate the precautions a business could take when conducting operations in developing countries.

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  • Overview

    In 1999, the 20-year-old AIDS crisis had ravaged many developing countries and, in particular, on the continent of Africa. Of the estimated 33.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide in 1998, almost two-thirds (22 million) were in sub-Saharan Africa, considered the "global epicenter" of the disease. Already 12 million had died, and life expectancy in the region plummeted from 62 years to 47. Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories had responded at the start of the AIDS outbreak by developing the HIV diagnostic test kit and then, later in the crisis, developed some of the state-of-the-art HIV/AIDS drugs. Abbott executives, led by new CEO Miles White, wanted to address the crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, but in a specific, efficient, and effective way. This case details the evolution of the AIDS crisis, Abbott Laboratories' HIV/AIDS drug production, and the company's efforts?in 1999?to find other ways to battle HIV/AIDS globally.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    1. Consider how values apply to management decisions, particularly in the shifting context of the global marketplace. 2. Identify ways a company's strategy, mission, and values may be relevant to ethics decisions both short- and long-term. 3. Increase students' awareness of the interaction between a company's business operations and its philanthropic arm. 4. Learn more about conflicting stakeholder expectations, values, and demands and how to prioritize among them. 5. Understand the policy and ethical issues involved in a business relationship between developed and developing countries. 6. Demonstrate the precautions a business could take when conducting operations in developing countries.