Bayer Healthcare is a German chemical and pharmaceutical company. Headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, it was established in 1863, becoming world famous for its popular brand of aspirin. Currently, Bayer Healthcare specializes in consumer healthcare products, agricultural chemicals, high value polymers, and biotechnology products.
Bayer HealthCare, a worldwide company with business operations on all five continents, specializes in services and products in animal health, pharmaceuticals, consumer care, and medical care. Employing an estimated 55,300 people in more than 100 countries, Bayer Healthcare is headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany. Their Consumer Care and Medical Care divisions are based in Whippany, New Jersey.
Bayer Healthcare works closely with their customers and their product distribution networks in dozens of countries generating millions of dollars in profits for Bayer Healthcare each year, especially in their pharmaceutical division. Currently, Xarelto, an anticoagulant, is their top-selling pharmaceutical product. Other popular Bayer products include Kogenate, YAZ, Eylea, Contour, Adalat, Betareron, Aleve, Ultravist, Levitra, and Gadovist. Bayer Healthcare credits much of their success to their push for patient safety, which they claim is one of their greatest concerns. Bayer prides themselves on extensive research in the development, pre-clinical and clinical testing phases for all of their medications. Extensive work is done to ensure each product is safe and effective prior to its launch. After a product is introduced into the market Bayer Healthcare continues to monitor the drugs to ensure they do not injure consumers.
Rivaroxaban, a drug sold under the brand name Xarelto, is the leading anticoagulant currently marketed and sold in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Xarelto is used to prevent pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis after hip or knee replacement, and to decrease the risk of stroke in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation.
Claimants have recently filed lawsuits against Bayer Healthcare and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a unit of Johnson & Johnson) claiming Xarelto increases the risk of uncontrollable bleeding and death. Claimants further suggest Bayer Healthcare and Janssen Pharmaceuticals did not do enough to warn users of the potentially serious and deadly side-effects of the medication. Anticoagulant Xarelto is expected to have record sales this year exceeding $1 billion.
On August 1, 1863, two German friends, Businessman Friedrich Bayer and dyer Johann Friedrich Weskott, founded the Friedr. Bayer et. comp., the goal of which was to manufacture and sell synthetic dyestuffs. These products were used in the textile industry, which was flourishing in the wake of industrialization. Now, dyes which had been scarce and expensive could be manufactured with new inventions such as the synthesis of the red dye alizarin. In 1881, with the establishment of a joint stock company called Farbenfabriken vorm, the company’s growth exploded. By 1914 the company had developed into a chemical company with operations throughout the world. Although dyes remained the most profitable and largest part of the business, the company also developed a research facility. Unfortunately, World War I devastated the company. Expert markets and foreign assets were lost and patents and trademarks were confiscated and auctioned off to their business competitors. The company survived, however, through the 20s and 30s, and after World War II in 1951 Farbenfabriken Bayer AG was newly established. More recently, in 2010, Bayer started Dream Production to manufacture high-tech plastics using carbon dioxide. In 2013, Bayer celebrated their 150th anniversary. In 2014, Bayer acquired Algeta and the consumer care business of US-based Merck & Co.
Xarelto is manufactured by Bayer, but it is marketed by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit. Xarelto remains one of Bayer Healthcare’s top selling medications used to reduce the risk of developing blood clots following surgery or immobilization of a patient. Recent lawsuits against Janssen and Bayer claim the manufacturer and seller of Xarelto failed to include sufficient boxed warnings addressing the increased risk for serious and fatal bleeding, including rectal, intestinal, and abdominal bleeding as well as hemorrhaging in the brain. Plaintiffs argued that the manufacturer’s failure to warn consumers mislead the public into assuming rivaroxaban was a safe alternative to other blood thinners such as Warfarin. Regulators from a German study, however, reported they have received complaints of 1,000 adverse events, including deaths, related to Xarelto use.
On February 14, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued complete response letters regarding the request made by Bayer Healthcare for the use of Xarelto® (rivaroxaban), an oral anticoagulant, to reduce the risk of secondary cardiovascular events, including death, stroke, and heart attack, in patients who suffer from acute coronary syndrome. The FDA did not approve Xarelto for the prevention of new heart attacks or strokes, a use referred to as secondary prevention. Currently, the FDA only allows Xarelto to be marketed to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation, not caused by a heart valve problem, to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and to reduce the risk of forming a blood clot in the legs and lungs of people who have just had knee or hip replacement surgery. Talk to your doctor if you have additional questions about the safe use of Xarelto.