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Developed Cancer Drug for 'Western Patients' Who Could Afford, Not 'for Indians': Bayer's CEO

Health & Wellness  (tags: abuse, cancer, drugs, health, medicine, treatment )

- 669 days ago -
Global medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres slammed on Friday a statement by Bayer's chief executive that the giant German firm only developed its cancer drug Nexavar for people who could afford the medicine, not "for Indians".

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Past Member (0)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 9:33 pm
That's insane!

Thanks for the link Carrie, and thank you Barry for posting.

. (0)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 10:09 pm
I find this hard to believe. Yet, the quote is taken slightly out of context. Still, it was a very nasty thing for the firm's representative to say. We are all Indians if we can't afford the drug Nexar and, it is apparent that Bayer doesn't want to allow generic copies to be made.

Susanne R. (249)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 10:20 pm
I can understand that pharmaceutical companies need a steady stream of income for research and development, which consumes about 17% of their profits, but they need to ask themselves WHY they are creating these drugs in the first place. Is it their mission to save lives and improve the quality of peoples' lives or to make outrageous profits? Let's face it: they have plenty of money for marketing. They hawk their drugs on television, in newspapers, in magazines and every form of advertising that exists. They actually invest a lot of time, money and effort into convincing people to ask their doctors to prescribe certain drugs based on information they've obtained through advertising campaigns. The industry should consider providing life-saving drugs to people who really need them --no matter what country they come from-- rather than trying to convince people to ask their doctors to write prescriptions for newer and much more expensive drugs to treat diseases or symptoms for which effective drugs already exist.

Great article, Barry! Thanks for posting it. And thanks for the forward, Carrie!

Giana Peranio-Paz (406)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 10:32 pm
It's all about money, not really human beings, if he can say something like that! Again the rich can pay to stay healthy.

Lynn Squance (233)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 11:17 pm
I can understand that a company wants to recupe the R&D costs which are usually extensive. But at what price? Why do these companies make such drugs in the first place? What is their motivation . . . humanitarian or profit? I suspect the latter, but that is obviously driven by a human need. A human need is not humanitarian.

I wonder how Bayer will explain its CEO's statements as time moves on.

Jae A. (320)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 12:11 am
I think his statement was probably the first honest one made by a giant corporations CEO in the past ...well, a lot of decades . Now to see just how accepting of that statement the mass public are to their reactions......... As one who thinks for themselves or as a Foxbot.........................

Kathleen R. (192)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 1:20 am
Read and noted. Each comment on here so far is pretty clear on their feelings toward Bayer. Being a humanitarian has absolutely nothing in common with Bayer. Maybe their motto should be we develop the latest miracle drugs for the rich who can pay for them. Isn't that kind of like selling body parts to the highest bidder. Next time you see a commercial for Bayer or any of the other pharmaceutical companies, think of this. "Bayer is effectively admitting the drugs they develop are deliberately going to be rationed to the wealthiest patients," Manica Balasegaram, executive director of MSF's Access Campaign, said.
Thank you for searching for the info. Barry. And thanks to Carrie for sharing.

Jeanne Young (19)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 1:57 am
"If livin' were something that money could buy
You know the rich would live, and the poor would die -

All my trials, Lord, soon be over-"

Joan Baez (one of her early albums, don't remember which) "All My Trials"

At the time I first heard it, it seemed clear that it WASN'T - Of recent years, I am occasionally haunted by that lullaby - - - - -

Pat A. (117)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 2:15 am
Only the honesty comes as a surprise to me - I have known they think like that for a long time.

There is a fascinating and scary book I have just bought called "Deadly Medicine and Organised Crime' by Peter Gotzsche which is a most instructive read (excerpts can be read online).... and a very good review with quotes from the book here

All these firms think about is money and profit - not about the welfare of people in any part of the world...

Thanks Barry and thanks Carrie for the forward!


Jaime Alves (47)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 3:09 am
Not suprised at all, a sign of the times we live in.!!

Fi T. (18)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 4:13 am
The help should be made equal since all lives are precious

Kit B. (276)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 5:00 am

Research and development are the most expensive part of the pharmaceutical industry. That said, I have trouble believing that they are not making huge profits from drugs that are extremely inexpensive to manufacture and have been on the market for years. These drugs have long since paid for all costs in the development phase and are now almost pure profit. That Bayer or any company is developing drugs purely for the western market is very telling about how they see their mission.

There are 11 medications developed for specialized diseases that range in price from $200,000 to $400,000 for each prescription. These are life-saving drugs but few can afford to use the medicine, so I doubt they are available for the poorer countries. The focus of the drug industry is not to save lives but to show a profit, and I don't know that there is answer to this conundrum.

Gloria picchetti (305)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 5:39 am
I haven't seen a doctor in five years and I take no prescriptions. I guess I am Indian.

Rhonda B. (102)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 6:01 am

John D. (45)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 6:20 am

Mitchell D. (131)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 7:40 am
The drug companies, being companies in the current capitalist system, are there to maximize profits for their shareholders, and income for their executives. Within the context of capitalism, that makes perfect business sense.
As I see it, the problem is that they have lost all sense of having any other responsibility to the culture that allows them to make that profit. I think they have such responsibility.
Richard Wolff, in "Capitalism Hits the Fan," makes a case for us to go to a post-capitalistic economy. I suggest reading this. It may not hurt to also read "Democracy for the Few," by Michael Parenti,, who speaks to the rule of the Plutocrats, and the economic system that supports them.

Elizabeth M. (68)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 9:55 am
The Indian government gave local pharmaceutical house Natco Pharma a licence to produce a copy of Nexavar, used to treat liver and kidney cancer, at a 97% discount to the original selling price of the Bayer product in India.

Global drugmakers say India's powerhouse generics industry and strict patent filtering reduce commercial incentives to produce cutting-edge medicines.Bayer is making big money on its drugs. They ae only researching and making new drug that the wealthy can afford. Case in point - my daughter, in February will be taking a drug that costs $4,000 a treatment and she is supposed to go once a week for six months.
She has been very lucky that our Health Care will cover it, otherwise she cannot afford it. Are Bayer and Monsanto tied together in research?? I have read that they were.
Thank you for this great post Barry and thanks Carrie for forwarding.

. (0)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 10:18 am
I can't add much more to above.

Farah Hage Ali (154)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 10:27 am
It is a pity how they discriminate between and among people according to their wealth. In God's eyes, we are all humans and not numbers. We deserve to be cured from illness and not the wealthy alone. We have the right to live in dignity and not prohibited from a medicine.

GGmaSheila D. (178)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 10:28 am
Great first article. Can't add anything significant to the above comments.
A belated Welcome to C2 Barry.

Alan` Lambert (91)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 11:15 am
While it costs pennies to make each of dose number two and forward, dose number one can cost billions to develop. So the companies must recoup their investment on the subsequent doses. And if the disease is an "orphan disease" that only has a small number of patients, then a relatively high cost can be justified, though hundreds of thousands per prescription seems obscene.

That said, a statement like the Bayer CEO made is ignorant at best and racist at worst.

Joanne Dixon (37)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 11:22 am
Well, yes, this is Bayer we are talking about. It doesn't have the cleanest history in the world. Actually no need to single out Bayer, most chemical and pharma companies don't. Thanks for the article, Barry! Welcome to Care2!

Dave C. (237)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 11:35 am
greed kills....or at least excuses behaviors that destroy and or kill.....

Kerry C. (50)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 12:15 pm
I understand the R & D with the Pharmaceutical Companies, but I am sure their profits have far exceeded their reasons at this point. It's a shame and so unfair to those in need.

Jae A. (320)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 12:53 pm
Follow the money dollars pay for a whole lot of the 'research' and development that the Pharmamed companies whine on about....It takes money to run any business and investment to make profits so that's nothing new but not all companies have products that cost so little to 'produce' that will sell at totally outrageous and unreasonable prices to the public.
Think about all the warnings that come with so many meds seen on Tv.....but they are still selling them, as harmful and all too often as infective as they actually are 'known' to be but not to recoup their cost but to make outrageous profits on them all.
Not all is level, much less right, when it comes to Pharmamed co.'s and their charges verses their cost...if they were ...they wouldn't be making such outrageous profits at the expense of the general public...and then expect people to accept that the 'cures' are only there for the rich..........I mean really folks.....think beyond the Foxbot sound bites..take a look at their stock market prices and profits for each quarter and then tell me how they are so desperate just to cover cost and or barely able to cover them on certain meds yet make such huge annual profits.
Oh but of course the public falls for that crap again and again..just like with the price of gasoline compared to the big Oil Companies profits.....which are also as big as they are due to tax dollars paying for much of their company cost under the 'cover' of research and development and importing....if those are all so high why then are their profits coming in at 'record' ones year after year ? I do wonder if there are those who would be ok if the food suppliers of the world were to say...ok....the best and most nutritious foods they aren't doing more to cause health problems than other foods are for the rich only.....oh wait, it's kind of happening in that industry already also....
Never mind....................sigh

Jae A. (320)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 1:28 pm
As for going to a doctor goes...I try and not over do that ..... I haven't been to a doctor .....since.....1974, even though I pay monthly for my Medicare Plan B at this stage in my life....just in case I actually have an urgent need to go to one in the future. My spouse , Mac, last saw a doctor in ...mid 80's as he was required to have a physical for a job at the time.
That being said...we currently are and have been daily consumers of cannabis for the last 35+ years, along with other, over the counter, 'herbal' alternative medicines since about 1994 . Jussss say'n.

A F. (131)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 3:08 pm

Lois Jordan (61)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 4:19 pm
Noted. Thanks for posting, Barry.....and Carrie for the link.

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 4:40 pm
Absolutely shameful!

Stevie A. (10)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 4:54 pm
Great start, Barry! Thanks for the share, Carrie.
When I lost my insurance health coverage in my 30's, I became increasingly interested in Nature's “health plan"
I'm currently treating my bronchitis with doses of raw garlic, eating oranges, drinking gallons of water and RESTING

Lyn Z. (294)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 5:16 pm
What a horrid thing to say!
Thanks Barry, and Carrie for fwd.

Terrie Williams (790)
Monday January 27, 2014, 9:23 am
Disgusting...what everyone else has said to the Nth degree.

Sandra R. (51)
Monday January 27, 2014, 2:19 pm
What do they mean not for Indians; do they mean Native Americans or American Indians or Middle Eastern Indians? Regardless of your race, greed, or religion the drug should be open to all, and if a person couldn't afford the drug then they should check on the company's website to see if you could qualify for help with the drug. some pharmaceutical companies do provide that type of help!

Ondine J. (131)
Monday January 27, 2014, 2:45 pm
Noted and no surprises there, at least some honesty

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 28, 2014, 4:31 am
Bayer admits they develop medications to make a profit, perhaps the Indians can admit to theft. It's amazing how people support the practice some of the time, and attack it at other times. It's just wrong. Then again, I wouldn't take any medication that was made in India.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Tuesday January 28, 2014, 5:52 am
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ GREED. Thanks Barry. Green star

Vallee R. (278)
Tuesday January 28, 2014, 12:34 pm
Gloria - I take some prescriptions but try and limit them as much as possible - mainly for a dermatological issue.

GARY L. (138)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 12:10 pm
why is anyone surprised that a rich white man made this statement

Lona Goudswaard (83)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 10:08 am
A slip of the tongue, obviously. What he should have said was: Bayer only developed its cancer drug Nexavar to make a huge profit, not for Indians to make a profit. I think most of here know that R&D indeed costs enormous amounts of money, but it is still a rather low percentage ( < 20%) of their overall costs, but they like to keep it 'exclusive' and want to earn their investment back in just a few years.This particular drug, however, has become so expensive that all but the extremely rich have become Indians because the Health Insurances in many countries are no longer able to pay for it and have left it to individual hospitals to cover the expenses if they prescribe it. By being so intent on making money on it, Bayer has effectively taken itself out off the loop in many countries.

That being said, the Indian generic medicine industry is spinning out of control. In this case the government sanctioned the patent breach, so it'll be marketed legally under - hopefully - controlled circumstances. But the argument that it is for the benefit of Indians patients, is absurd. Soon it'll find its way to pharmacies all over the world. India also makes a lot of illegal generics which of course does harm the Pharmaceutical industry to some extend, but the real problem with these generics is that many are made without proper control. A lot of these generics have been tampered with, do not contain enough of the working agent or none at all and some may even contain components that are harmful or downright toxic. The American FDA has recently banned a number of Indian made generics because of this.

Alexandra Rodda (180)
Friday April 25, 2014, 7:18 am
That he could say this without shame shows the decline of ethical and moral standards. He was obviously not aware that what he said was reprehensible.
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