Case name, citation, and court: Ashley County, Arkansas v. Pfizer, Inc, 552 F.3d 659 (8th Cir. 2009) Summary of Key Facts: An ingredient widely used in Pfizer’s products is a necessary ingredient in the manufacturing of methamphetamine in small toxic labs which are responsible for dangerous explosions, burns, and toxic fumes.
Arkansas has one of the largest numbers of small toxic labs in the US and is burdened with high costs of fighting the meth epidemic and is seeking to recoup some of the funds that the counties of Arkansas have spent.
The Issue: Is Pfizer ethically responsible for assisting in the funding of fighting the meth epidemic? The Holding: Since Pfizer is a major manufacturer of products containing necessary ingredients used in illegal meth labs and the counties of Arkansas has been so heavily financially burdened by these labs, the damages are obvious.
The counties have suffered financial loss from battling a drug that could not be made without the ingredients in Pfizer’s products. Because of these damages and Pfizer’s role in the supply of ingredients to drug labs, it is the responsibility of Pfizer to either, repay the counties and finance the future costs of fighting the meth epidemic or find alternative ingredients to use in their products that cannot be used in the manufacture of meth. Summary of Your Reasoning: It is the corporate responsibility of Pfizer to assist in funding the counties’ operations battling meth.
Under a corporate citizenship view, Pfizer is responsible for contributing to the solution of the social problem that their products create. Meth is an epidemic rapidly sweeping the nation and it is the responsibility of anyone, or company, with any tie to the drug at all, to contribute to the solution, the same amount that they contribute to the problem.