Background and Resources

Subtopic 1: Ethics and Values

Activity 1.1

Activity 1.2

Activity 1.3

Subtopic 2: Bioethical Problems Identification

Activity 2.1

Activity 2.2

Activity 2.3

Subtopic 3: Methods and Strategies for Decision-Making

Activity 3.1

Activity 3.2

Activity 3.3

Module Summary

Developer Bio

User Evaluation Form

Research and Drugs

Problems in research and the manufacturing, pricing, and distribution of prescription drugs in the fight against HIV-disease exacerbate attempts to provide the best possible care to all those infected.  The purpose of this activity is to flush out these problems, to be seen as additional elements to be considered in the decision-making process.

Activity 2.2
The problems confronting ADAP programs across the nation due to cuts in funding could conceivably be alleviated by lower drug costs, as could similar problems worldwide. What is the relation between research and drug costs? Do governments and drug manufacturers have an ethical obligation to make life-saving therapies and/or cures available to consumers at affordable levels? How do the interests of profit impact the search for a cure? It has been said that the industries which have grown up around HIV disease (as well as other diseases including cancer) have taken on a life of their own, independent of any concern for ending the epidemic, since ending the epidemic would shut down those industries. If true, what does this say about the rule of ethical values in today's global economy?

Students will address these questions in discussion forums, either in a tradtional classroom setting and/or online, during which the instructor may encourage the introduction of additonal, related issues, including issues involving techonological and theoretical difficulties in research. A written position-paper on any one question, or issue, may be assigned.