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RU 486: the handling by Roussel-Uclaf of a double ethical dilemma (A, B and C)

Author: De Bettignies, Henri-Claude ; Villaran, GildaINSEAD Area: Organisational BehaviourPublisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD European Centre for Executive Development (CEDEP) 1991.Language: EnglishDescription: 16 p.Type of document: INSEAD CaseAbstract: On October 1988, members of the Board and CEOs of Roussel-Uclaf (one of the French leaders of the pharmaceutical industry) had to decide whether or not to put on the market RU486, a pill that provokes abortion without use of surgical methods. Case A highlights the issues they had to consider: potential internal problems (including the risk of conflict with employees and executives who oppose the participation of the company in anything related to abortion); a possible deterioration of the relationship between Roussel-Uclaf and its parent company Hoechst (from Germany), which opposes the product; and intense public pressure accompanied by a threat of a boycott that could produce important economic losses. Case B describes subsequent events: Roussel-Uclaf decide to suspend distribution of the product. However, two days after the firm makes its decision public, the French government intervene and mandate the firm to reverse its decision..Pedagogical Objectives: Pedagogical objectives not available
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On October 1988, members of the Board and CEOs of Roussel-Uclaf (one of the French leaders of the pharmaceutical industry) had to decide whether or not to put on the market RU486, a pill that provokes abortion without use of surgical methods. Case A highlights the issues they had to consider: potential internal problems (including the risk of conflict with employees and executives who oppose the participation of the company in anything related to abortion); a possible deterioration of the relationship between Roussel-Uclaf and its parent company Hoechst (from Germany), which opposes the product; and intense public pressure accompanied by a threat of a boycott that could produce important economic losses. Case B describes subsequent events: Roussel-Uclaf decide to suspend distribution of the product. However, two days after the firm makes its decision public, the French government intervene and mandate the firm to reverse its decision..

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