[Ip-health] BAYER concealing marketing expenses / 9 bn for advertising and sales

Riaz Tayob riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Fri Mar 30 05:48:21 PDT 2012


**

Press Release, March 30, 2012******

Coalition against BAYER Dangers (Germany)****

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BAYER: Marketing Expenses Concealed****

* *

*In 2011 BAYER spent nearly 9 billion EUR on sales and advertising. These
expenses include the entire gray area of pharmaceutical marketing:
Medication samples, continuing education courses for physicians,
pharmaceutical sales reps, etc. In the same period, only 2.9 billion EUR
was spent on research. This demonstrates once again that the high price of
medicines is due not to development costs but to the exorbitant amount of
marketing. The Coalition against BAYER Dangers has introduced a
countermotion to the upcoming BAYER shareholder meeting and demands that
the Board of Management not be ratified.*

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Stockholders are not given any information on BAYER's sales and marketing
expenditures. Even though these expenses swallow up EUR 8.96 billion or a
quarter of BAYER's sales, the company will not say what this sum is
actually used for. ****

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Axel Koehler-Schnura, founder of the *Coalition against BAYER
Dangers*says: “Only eight lines of the 265-page Bayer
Annual Report<http://www.annualreport2011.bayer.com/en/bayer-annual-report-2011.pdfx>are
dedicated to these expenses, despite the fact that this is the
second-largest item after labor costs. Nowhere in the BAYER figures is the
sum broken down further. This is an easy way to conceal enormous amounts of
money.” Koehler-Schnura has introduced a countermotion to BAYER´s
shareholder meeting on April 27 and demands not to ratify the board.****

 ****

In these 9 billion Euro all the expenses aimed at influencing the public –
physicians, politicians, specialist associations, supervisory authorities,
the media etc, are hidden:****

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   - advertising in newspapers and magazines, TV and electronic media;****
   - drug samples for physicians, clinics and hospitals;****
   - expenses for lobbying associations;****
   - the cost of pharmaceutical sales reps (the cost item covering the
   expenses for these "door-to-door salespeople" amounts to over EUR 4 billion
   alone);****
   -  post-marketing observation studies, the results of which generally
   disappear into a drawer;****
   -  payments to medical associations and self-help groups;****
   -  financing of continuing education and congresses for physicians etc.**
   **

At the same time, research and development costs fell last year to EUR 2.9
billion. BAYER even closed some of its development departments. This
contradicts the statement made by Marijn Dekkers when he took office: "I
see my biggest task as increasing our innovative strength" (*Frankfurter
Allgemeine* on January 21, 2011).****

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BAYER has now discovered the internet as a new stomping ground for
marketing activities, and is putting more and more money into it. Since
advertising is banned for prescription drugs, the websites are camouflaged
as an "information service". Sites such as www.pille.com on contraceptive
pills, however, serve one sole purpose despite giving the appearance of a
practical guide: to increase sales of BAYER products.****

 ****

The dubious site LoveGent.de serves the same purpose for the LEVITRA
"virility pill." It comes wrapped as a men's magazine, offering relevant
articles on topics such as "quickies," "men's toys" or "prostitution" as
well as "expert" advice from Dr. Frank Sommer. There is frequent talk of
potency pills or impotence drugs – but naturally without any mention of
their side effects such as hearing damage, vision problems or temporary
loss of memory. Only in the small print there is a reference to the fact
that the BAYER subsidiary JENAPHARM is actually responsible for the site.***
*

 ****

Another BAYER website with a similar intent to camouflage is
www.testosteron.de. The job of this site is to establish testosterone
deficiency as an apparent illness among men and to sell them the
appropriate pills to remedy the situation. In fact, there is no proof that
the administration of hormones helps to alleviate age-related disorders,
nor have the long-term risks of testosterone treatment been clarified.****

 ****

In the real world, too, BAYER frequently operates in the gray areas of
marketing. BAYER's medical scientists are involved in so-called observation
studies, for example with the multiple sclerosis product BETAFERON. The
physicians extract from their patients a few details on the tolerability of
the drug and fill out a short questionnaire. The entire procedure is of
little scientific value: The data serves only to legitimize payments to
physicians and to start the patients on the new medication.****

 ****

Equally questionable is the sponsoring of self-help groups. Payments are
made primarily to groups that BAYER can supply with the relevant drugs,
such as associations for diabetes, cancer, hemophilia and multiple
sclerosis patients.****

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Another area of criticism is the massive lobbying with which BAYER is
aiming to overturn the EU-wide ban on the advertising of prescription
pharmaceuticals. This would result in even more marketing in the guise of
"patient information."****

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“The BAYER Board takes no action to prevent the practice of concealing
these marketing expenditures. It also condones questionable advertising
methods. For this reason, its actions should not be ratified”, Axel
Koehler-Schnura concludes.****

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*Please help! **Coalition against BAYER Dangers seriously at
risk<http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3747.html>
*****

 ****

Coalition against BAYER Dangers
www.CBGnetwork.org <http://www.cbgnetwork.de/4.html> (in English)
CBGnetwork at aol.com
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/pages/Coordination-gegen-BAYER-Gefahren-CBG/127538777294665
Tel: (+49) 211-333 911 Fax: (+49) 211-333 940
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free of charge

*Advisory Board *
Prof. Juergen Junginger, designer
Prof. Dr. Juergen Rochlitz, chemist, former member of the German parliament
Wolfram Esche, attorney
Dr. Sigrid Müller, pharmacologist
Prof. Rainer Roth, social scientist
Eva Bulling-Schroeter, member of the German parliament
Prof. Dr. Anton Schneider, biologist
Dr. Janis Schmelzer, historian,
Dr. Erika Abczynski, pediatrician

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