Case | HBS Case Collection | October 1990 (Revised April 1991)

RU 486 (A)

by Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.


Describes the factors faced by Roussel UCLAF, a French drug company, in deciding whether and how to market a controversial new drug, RU 486, which is often called "the French abortion pill." Roussel's decision involved its relations with the French government, its parent company, the German chemicals giant Hoechst, supporters and opponents of abortion rights in France and the United States, and the research community. The objective is to show students the complex web of responsibilities managers face and the practical issues that arise from conflicts among those obligations.

Keywords: Judgments; Ethics; Product Launch; Negotiation; Outcome or Result; Performance; Business and Government Relations; Health Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; France; Germany; United States;


Badaracco, Joseph L., Jr. "RU 486 (A)." Harvard Business School Case 391-050, October 1990. (Revised April 1991.)