Case Study of the Week: Soliciting Customers from Illness

May 16, 2022

Business Ethics Team

You are to assume the role of director of operations for SickRX, a new mobile app that helps users determine the severity of symptoms and appropriate actions needed. The director of corporate development has asked you to analyze an offer from a potential investor, weigh the pros and cons and make a final recommendation.

The new mobile app, SickRX, was created to help people assess their health symptoms, determine if medical attention is needed, uncover helpful common remedies and more. Users simply enter their name and email address, agree to the terms and conditions, and can begin entering health symptoms. Once the submit button is pressed, SICKRX displays the pertinent information.

The terms and conditions that users agree to state that SickRX does not take the place of being seen and diagnosed by a medical professional, prescription medicines must be prescribed by a medical doctor and user information acquired by SICKRX may be distributed to third parties.

SickRX was funded, in part, by corporate sponsors that paid the company to have access to the user information. Currently, the third parties are made up of pharmaceutical companies, a national brand of personal care products and a drugstore chain. SickRX provides these third parties with the name, email address and symptoms of each user.

Recently, the director of corporate development met with a potential investor. The investor represents a national law firm with fifteen offices across the country. The potential investor is willing to invest more money than any other company, but only if an addition is made to the mobile app. The investor wants each user to indicate whether the symptoms entered in the app are the result of a workplace injury or an accident. The user must provide that information with each entered symptom to successfully use SickRX.

The director of corporate development understands that the investor will use the information about workplace injury and accidents as a method to solicit business from SickRX users. While this is not ideal, the financial investment would benefit the company, employees, the mobile app and eventually users.

The director of corporate development wants you to analyze the situation, weigh the pros and cons of both accepting the large investment and making the necessary addition to the app or not accepting the large investment and not making the addition to the app. The director wants you to explain why this potential investor is different than the third parties SickRX already provides user information to. You must make a final recommendation.

Questions?

Randi Bibiano
Competitive Events Specialist
randi@deca.org

As DECA’s competitive events specialist, Randi primarily authors role-play scenarios for the collegiate and high school division’s competitive events programs. She also serves as DECA’s liaison for the Virtual Business Challenge and Stock Market Game. Randi assists with the recruitment of judges for both the high school and collegiate International Career Development Conferences. Randi has worked for DECA since 1998.

Discussion Questions

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Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:

Business Management and Administration

Instructional Area(s):

Economics

Performance Indicators:

Explain the concept of private enterprise
Determine factors affecting business risk
Identify factors affecting a business’s profit
Explain the nature of business ethics