The ethics of business is not the same as the ethics of medicine but if recent accusations against Lilly are true you might conclude that in regard to some businesses the word does not even apply. I have quoted Dr. Patricia Illingworth before:
...some commonly accepted principles of business ethics are fundamentally incompatible with traditional medical ethics...,
These practices include spinning and playing down the negative aspects of your product and intentionally misleading customers and maybe that is why we have laws against deceptive trade practices.
Reuters today published an article saying that the NY Times web site describes Lilly's activities promoting off label use of Zyprexa (olanzapine) and acting to play down Zyprexa's known side effects of significant weight gain and increased risk of diabetes. They are accused of a stealth campaign to promote the drug's use in dementia. Olanzapine has FDA approval for use only in Bipolar disease and schizophrenia.
NY Times writes about internal Lilly documents that suggest Zyprexa be promoted to primary care docs for use in dementia noting that psychiatrists are the physicians who mainly treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and primary docs do not feel confident is managing those conditions but they do manage many elderly patients with varying degrees of dementia.
Evidence is presented that indicates sales reps did in fact promote the drug for the off label use with the result of a significant increase in sales and were given monetary incentives for those activities. The promotional program was known as "Viva Zyprexa". A representative for Lilly denies claims of promoting the drug use for non approved indications and is quoted as stating that a Zyprexa-diabetes link has not been proven.