Working for large phama company and just learned of unethical practices

I’ve been employed by a large pharmaceutical company for several years.

As I’ve been learning more about my Catholic faith, and am more committed to practicing it correctly, I learned through the Children of God for Life organization, about some unethical research and product development practices that have occurred within the large corporation I work for.

Unfortunately, the products that have been brought to my attention are still marketed by this organization.

At the time of being hired, I was not aware of these types of issues, and was not fully aware of what the Church’s teaching/position on these type of moral issues.

I am saddened because this organization has provided my young family and I a comfortable living, marketable career skills, and great friendships with other fellow employees. This organization allows me enough flex time to be active in my Church and financially well off enough to comfortably contribute to my Church and many Catholic based charities. (I know this alone doesn’t make it right)

**I’m curious if anyone else is in this same position or has any perspectives on what a Catholic is to do at this point in their career? **

I suggest contacting the National Catholic Bioethics Center for guidance.

You didn’t really specify, were these things done in the past? Are they part of your job duties? Are you being asked to participate in work activities contrary to your faith? Honestly, try to find any organization to belong to or work for that has not had individuals participate in unethical practices. Even the Catholic Church has had these moments.

I guess the questions I’d be asking are, given this knowledge, can you be the kind of employee this company is paying you to be? Can you work from within to change things if necessary? Has the company owned up to these practices? Are there other sources for this information you have found out?

Thanks…great questions. I apologize for not elaborating. My job duties are basically in IT. So, no I don’t have anything to do with their products or research (except to help make their jobs easier)

I can be counted on to perform my job (although here I am today on a forum asking questions). I enjoy my work and the people around me.) I’m obsessed with making sure any employer gets their moneys worth from me. I owe it to my family.

I am not impressed so far with this organizations attempt to remedy the situation. In fact, I feel they are digging themselves in deeper by using unethical behavior to cover up their unethical practices. (they’ve been accused of not be very transparent about their use of aborted fetal cell lines and monopolizing the market so ethical alternatives no longer exist.)

I can see your concern with these practices. I work in an IT like field myself and know that you are probably quite marketable should you not stay. On one hand you are almost certainly not contributing towards the issue, on the other your enthusiasm for the company might be damped as long as you work there.

Given that you aren’t directly participating in something against your values and also have a family to support; I might just give yourself some time to understand how much this matters to you. You will almost never find a place that is in complete alignment with your values, but maybe some industries like the Bio-medical world might have a higher chance of crossing those values. I would certainly give it some thought and prayer. If you need to change jobs, start looking and take the right job when it comes up…

I’m an independent contractor in the industry. One of my clients produce and market a contraceptive device. After considerable prayer, and consultation with my priest, before I accepted the job, I made it clear to the prospective employer that I could not work that product line, or any other product that violate Church teaching. I knew my demands would result in one of two actions; they would hire me with the understanding I would not work on the contraceptive line, or the would not offer me a contract…I had to be ready to stand on my religious convictions, even if it cost me the job…long story short, I was hired, and have never been asked to work on questionable product lines.

Years ago, I worked at a company manufacturing the active pharmaceutical ingredient for what was called the Morning After Pill. Even though I was in a well paying management position, I had to make the same stand…interestingly enough, the president of the company then issued a letter to all employees discussing the product and telling employees if their religious or moral conscience would not permit them to be involved, they would not have to work on that product, and there would be no professional ramifications.

My advice is pray on it, talk to your confessor, inquire with people involved in medical ethics, and be willing to accept God’s will.

Peace and all good!

I have heard from numerous sources that ‘big Pharma’ is one the main reasons why the DEA and our govt in general has such a tough stance on street drugs, and the war on drugs, as it is all to make sure people have no other choice but to seek THOSE drugs and pay THOSE prices.

It does kind of make sense, and I dont think its a stretch to think the US Govt would be in collusion with such companies regarding such things.

They claim it is due to the health and safety of the public, but on the other hand, they dont seem to mind people being able to buy tobacco products anytime they like…?


Much progress has been made with Adult Stem Cells. I follow technical developments looking at both their practicality and ethical impact. Ethical alternatives exist. No one can monopolize the market in this area. One company, which I should not name, shifted its focus from fetal cell lines to adult stem cell research. Investors and owners want results and money. No results and the money dries up. The stock price goes down. Even if this company is privately held, do not forget that real progress is being made with adult stem cells.

One of the problems with aborted fetal cell lines is that the body will immediately recognize the tissue as foreign material and begin the rejection process. There is also the risk of tumors associated with injecting fetal cells into humans.


Your claim is speculative, and street drugs are not a good substitute for medicines that are produced under stringent quality control conditions and deemed safe through research and testing. Companies - any business - are formed to make money. All research takes time, trained personnel and the necessary equipment. How long is the average investor going to wait for a breakthrough from a company he believes might create a profitable drug/treatment? Two years? Five?

People who become addicted to smoking are addicts though not on the same level as those who use cocaine. As the marketing campaign continues here to legalize marijuana in more places, just follow the money, and the addiction pattern. Yes, some people are smoking cigarettes, smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol right now. They KNOW what can happen to them but lies are being repeated constantly.

Anyway, the FDA issues the protocols for new drugs and treatments so that most people do not suffer harm from the drug or treatment or the side effects, and their probability are included. My favorite TV commercials are those with smiling, happy actors that represent the target market for a pill that will solve or help alleviate the symptoms of an illness/condition while a calm voice tells you that the drug may cause “heart failure, kidney failure, stroke, heart attack, and my favorite - death.” Sure, I’m not going to take that.


Well, I know here in KY, the state Govt has gone to extreme lengths in an attempt to control the prescription painkiller abuse, its actually pretty hard to even be prescribed these now, even if you are not an abuser.

However, it backfired, all these former pain pill addicts, are now getting heroin from the street, as it is readily available…Im in the same boat, lost my prescription due to these new pill laws and now the only thing available is heroin, meth or cocaine, My choice is heroin, as I dont like the others.

I know abusing any substance like this is a bad idea, but Ive always thought it would be at least better to have these addicts using pills made in a controlled lab, versus heroin with God knows what added to it, The fact is, these people are GOING TO use something, and the street market will always be there to take peoples money.

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