B.O.B's new track "Dr. Aden", our Banger of the Week, has sparked my interest in a case that hasn't been in the public eye for quite some time.  The case is of the pharmaceutical company Bayer knowingly selling AIDS infected products to the public. The more information you can find the better, so I wouldn't take this song as literal info on the subject.  I have posted some articles that I have found.  Please if you find anything else on either side of this topic, post the link in our comments so we can continue with getting more info on this subject.

Bayer Documents: AIDS Tainted Blood Killed Thousands of Hemophiliacs

Thu, 22 May 2003

An examination of internal Bayer company documents by The New York Times reveals that the company was engaged in unsavory, probably criminal marketing practices. The documents reveal that Bayer continued to sell contaminated blood plasma causing thousands of hemophiliac patients to be infected with AIDS. The company continued to sell the contaminated blood in Asia for over a year when it had already introduced a safer, heated blood plasma version in the US and Europe in February 1984.

The documents examined by the Times provide evidence of unrestrained corrupt practices by a pharmaceutical industry giant. According to The Times, records suggest that the reason for continuing to sell an AIDS infected blood product, was to get rid of inventory and "the company hoped to preserve the profit margin from 'several large fixed-price contracts.'"

This previously uninvestigated case demonstrates how this industry's lies and crimes are shielded by officials at the Food and Drug Administration. The Times reports that in 1985 FDA's Dr. Harry Meyer willingly helped Bayer cover up "one of the worst drug-related medical disasters in history." Meyer suggested that the issue should be "quietly solved without alerting the Congress, the medical community and the public." This culture of accommodation continues to prevail at the FDA.

The case also demonstrates Bayer's racial elitism. Its lethal marketing policies disregard human lives. The mother of a 22 year old hemophiliac who was killed by Bayer's tainted product in Hong Kong put it this way: "they did not care about the lives in Asia. It was racial discrimination."

The Times reports that three other American pharmaceutical companies were involved in selling tainted blood plasma after a safer version existed: Armour Pharmaceutical, Baxter International and Alpha Therapeutic.

Full article HERE


Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 1 , Column 5

ABSTRACT - Cutter Biological, unit of Bayer AG, apparently sold millions of dollars of blood-clotting medicine for hemophiliacs that carried high risk of transmitting AIDS to Asia and Latin America in mid-1980's, while selling new, safer product in West; Cutter Biological introduced its safer medicine in Feb 1984 as evidence mounted that earlier version, Factor VIII, was infecting hemophiliacs with HIV; company continued to sell old medicine overseas; records show Cutter officials were trying to avoid being stuck with large stores of product that was proving increasingly unmarketable in US and Europe; show company continued to make old medicine for several months after it began selling new product; telex from Cutter to distributor suggests motive: that Cutter had several fixed-price contracts and believed old product, which was not heated, would be cheaper to produce; precise human toll of these marketing decisions two decades ago may be impossible to document now; in Hong Kong and Taiwan alone, more than 100 hemophiliacs got HIV after using Cutter's old medicine, and many have since died;

Cutter continued to sell older product after Feb 1984 in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Argentina; figures are from Cutter documents produced in connection with lawsuits filed by American hemophiliacs; Bayer issues statement defending Cutter, saying company continued to sell old medicine because some customers doubted new drug's effectiveness, and some countries were slow to approve its sale; in US, AIDS was passed on to thousands of hemophiliacs, many of whom died, before new product was developed; Bayer and three other companies, while admitting no wrongdoing, have paid hemophiliacs about $600 million to settle more than 15 years of lawsuits; photos; chronology of events (L) A division of the pharmaceutical company Bayer sold millions of dollars of blood-clotting medicine for hemophiliacs -- medicine that carried a high risk of transmitting AIDS -- to Asia and Latin America in the mid-1980's while selling a new, safer product in the West, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.

The Bayer unit, Cutter Biological, introduced its safer medicine in late February 1984 as evidence mounted that the earlier version was infecting hemophiliacs with H.I.V. Yet for over a year, the company continued to sell the old medicine overseas, prompting a United States regulator to accuse Cutter of breaking its promise to stop selling the product.


Dow Jones Business News

Bayer Says Acted Responsibly Regarding Hemophiliac Drug

Thursday May 22, 5:15 am ET

FRANKFURT -(Dow Jones)- German pharmaceuticals company Bayer AG Thursday responded to a media report that claimed it sold a drug with a high risk of transmitting AIDS by saying it had, at all times, acted ethically and responsibly.

A New York Times report cited obtained documents that said a Bayer unit, Cutter Biological, sold millions of dollars worth of blood-clotting medicine that carried a high risk of transmitting AIDS, in the Asian and Latin American markets in the mid-1980s.

The report claimed these sales of medicine for hemophiliacs took place while the company sold a new and safer product in the West.

The Times report said the documents were produced in connection with lawsuits filed by American hemophiliacs.

Bayer, in a media statement, said it had at all times acted ethically and responsibly.

"Bayer has always behaved responsibly, ethically, and humanely to provide life-saving products for the global hemophilia community," the company said.

"Decisions made nearly two decades ago were based on the best scientific information of the time and were consistent with the regulations in place. They cannot be judged on the information available today."

Read the whole article HERE



Contaminated hemophilia blood products were a serious public health problem in the (late) 1970s though middle 1980s. These products caused large numbers of haemophiliacs to become infected with HIV and hepatitis C. The companies involved included Abbot Laboratories, Alpha Therapeutic Corporation, Armour Pharmaceutical Company, Bayer Corporation and its Cutter Biological division, Baxter International and its Hyland Pharmaceutical division . Estimates range from 6,000 to 10,000 haemophiliacs in the United States becoming infected with HIV.

It is believed that these companies recruited and paid donors from high-risk populations including former prisoners, injection-drug users, and plasmapheresis facilites in prisons (e.g. Arkansas Prison Plasma Scandal) and especially in cities already having large numbers of these persons to obtain blood plasma used for the production of Factor VIII and Factor IX. These companies allegedly failed to follow United States federal law mandates to exclude donors with a history of viral hepatitis. The medicine was made using pools of plasma from 10,000 or more donors, and since HIV at that time couldn't be screened out, the plasma carried a high risk of passing along the disease.

Factor VIII essentially provides the missing ingredient without which haemophiliacs' blood cannot clot. By injecting themselves with it, haemophiliacs can stop bleeding or prevent bleeds from starting; some use it as many as three times a week.

via Wikipedia article read the rest HERE