Corporate Moral Responsibility, Distributive Justice, the Common Good, and Catholic Social Teaching: The Case of Gilead Sciences and Remdesivir.
Applying the moral principles of Catholic social teaching's (CST) on capitalism, distributive justice, private ownership, the common good, and the role of the state in the economy as the overall theoretical framework and utilizing secondary data, media reports, and scientific literature, this article explores the corporate moral responsibility of the top drug makers in the ownership and pricing of their essential medicines and COVID-19 vaccines. Specifically, it presents the case of the Gilead Sciences' business strategies and overpricing of Remdesivir drug to illustrate how predatory capitalism undermines the moral responsibility of drug makers and CST's moral principle on the common good in today's pandemic. Distributive justice requires that the publicly funded and developed medicines and vaccines should be priced and distributed fairly to promote the common good and prevent the public from "paying twice" for these essential medicines. Given the public character of these medicines and the demands of social justice, the price of Remdesivir and other essential medicines of Gilead Sciences and Big Pharma for COVID-19 could have been lower than what was officially announced. Ultimately, these medicines could have been made global public health goods in accordance with CST's doctrines on distributive justice, the common good, and the social dimension of private ownership.