Ethical Business Practices of Express Case Study

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This is disturbing because not only were the thieves being able to access and steal the information, they were able to send an extortion letter to the company without anyone knowing. Then, no one at the company was aware of the issue, until it was too late. (Ragan) What this shows is that Express Scripts was more interested in increasing their overall bottom line, than protecting their customers' privacy. While, no security system is 100% safe, the fact that no one knew someone had stolen the personal information and that there was an extortion threat, highlights how security was not a top priority. Logically speaking, if the leadership of the company had been emphasizing good security related practices, the minute that the information was stolen would have allowed the company to alert the authorities. Once, they received the extortion letter they could have used it and the alertness of the staff to mitigate the effects. Instead, the emphasis was on increasing the overall profit margins of the company no matter what.

The different ethical issues highlight how Express Scripts has engaged in a pattern of putting their own best interests ahead of their customers. The above incidents are not isolated events; instead there are a number of different cases reported. This is a sign that the very top executives of the company are encouraging employees to engage in ethical behavior no matter what the cost. Then, once they are caught engaging in such activities, they are allowed to buy their way out it. As a result, it would not be surprising to see such incidents continue because the company has no incentive, to place the interests of their customers ahead of their own. At which point, this trend will continue until a tragedy occurs. Then, they will become serious about looking out for their customers needs first. Judging from the past incidents, this could lead to a catastrophe.

Clearly, Express Scripts has been engaging in a number of different activities that are bringing into question their overall ethics. Where, there are a number of different events that have been bringing this issue to the forefront the most notable would include: miss-billing issues, engaging in predatory sales tactics, misleading customers about various billing issue and improperly handling customer information. This is important because these different incidents highlight how the company is not interested in looking out for the best interests of their customers. Instead, they are only interested in increasing their profit margins at any cost. The reason why such accusations have been leveled against the company is: because of the consistency of their inability to handle these different issues. Where, they agreed to settle with the Attorney Generals for encouraging doctors to write generic prescriptions and then would bill it as patent protected drug (which is more expensive). Then, the fact that the Better Business Bureau has an advisory out about their business practices in Eastern North Carolina and that they were unaware someone had stolen / extorted customer information only underscores this fact. Instead of cleaning up its act, the company pays a small fine and will engage in business as usual. This is why these issues, will only continue to become worse before they become better. At which point, management may begin to realize that putting the customer first is good for business.

Bibliography

"About Us." Express Scripts. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2010

"Attorney General McKenna Announces Express Scripts to Pay $9.5 million." Washington State Attorney General. 27 May 2008. Web. 26 Apr. 2010

"Better Business Bureau Warns Against Unethical Services Targeting the Elderly." Better Business Bureau. 31 October 2007. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

"Earnings Estimates." Express Scripts. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

"Express Scripts." Consumer Complaints. 29 December 2009. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

"Express Scripts." Know More. 2008. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

"Express Scripts Spent $240,00 to Lobby on Generic Drug." CB Online. 2008. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

Brin, Dinah. "Express Scripts CEO 2009 Compensation." NASDAQ. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

Edward, a. "Express Scripts Averts Suit." WSJ. 28 May 2008. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

Ragan, Steve. "Express Scripts Discloses Extortion Attempt." The Tech Herald. 2008. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

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