At least 100 people died because of the failure of Bayer to disclose the
lethal risks of its cholesterol-lowering drug, Baycol. The Houston Business
Journal reports: " Bayer Corp. will pay $8 million to 30 states, including
$200,000 to Texas, as part of a settlement requiring the company to fully
disclose when drugs pose risks for patients with specific health
When an industry makes billions of dollars on a single product, what
possible significance does a mere $8 million fine constitute for the
"Baycol was a potential blockbuster product, with global sales exceeding
$586m in 2000, showing growth of 84%, and with forecast sales in the region
of $1bn for 2001"
Repeat legal violations: The record of recidivism by major drug
manufacturers is a matter of public record.
In high visibility cases such as Vioxx, Baycol, Fen-Phen, Rezulin, Zyprexa,
Paxil, Zoloft, Risperdal (to name but a few notorious cases) the drug
companies involved were not simply criticized for making drugs with
infrequent but grave side effects.
Instead, the legal questions were, what did the drug companies know, when
did they know it, and what did they do about it?
Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
Houston Business Journal, January 24, 2007
Bayer reaches settlement over drug disclosure
Bayer Corp. will pay $8 million to 30 states, including $200,000 to Texas,
as part of a settlement requiring the company to fully disclose when drugs
pose risks for patients with specific health conditions. According to the
settlement, Bayer failed to adequately warn physicians, pharmacies and
patients of clinical studies revealing serious consequences of taking
Baycol, a cholesterol-lowering drug. The company pulled the drug from the
market in August 2001 due to its muscle-weakening side effects. The terms
also extend to the disclosure of clinical studies involving other Bayer
drugs with possibly harmful side effects.
"Texans deserve to be fully informed about the adverse effects of their
medications," said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. "This agreement
ensures that patients have access to the information they need to make
educated health care decisions." The terms of the judgment require that
Bayer register its clinical studies and, upon the completion of each study,
post the results on the Internet. The marketing, sale and promotion of
Bayer's pharmaceutical and biological products must comply with the law and
cannot include false or misleading claims.
In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Baycol, a "statin"
cholesterol-lowering prescription drug, which Bayer began marketing in May
1998. While patients who take statin drugs frequently experience
muscle-weakening side effects, Bayer failed to disclose that its product
posed significantly greater risks than did statins produced by other drug
companies. Because of Bayer's failure to disclose risks exacerbated by its
product, patients who were prescribed Baycol were not informed of its
potential side effects. Concealing risks in the name of profit violates the
Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Bayer Corp. USA is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, part of the Bayer Group of
companies based in Germany. The company has facilities across the U.S.,
including Channelview and Baytown.
. NY Times: Bayer Knew of Dangers of Its Cholesterol Drug
. Bayer Held Back on Drug Dangers: www.cbgnetwork.org/288.html
. LA Times: Aspirin Can't Cure Bayer's Aches
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