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For other uses, see Bayer (disambiguation).
Bayer AG
Public (ISIN: DE0005752000, TYO: 4863)
Headquarters Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Key peopleN/A
Revenue €27.383 billion (2005)
Employees106 000 (31 dec 2006)
SloganScience for a Better Life

Bayer AG (German, pronounced [ˈbaɪə]) (ISIN: DE0005752000, TYO: 4863) is a German chemical and pharmaceutical company founded in Barmen, Germany in 1863. Today it is headquartered in Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is well-known for its original brand of aspirin.


About Bayer AG

In order to separate operational and strategic management Bayer AG was reorganized into a holding company in December 2003. The group's core businesses were transformed into limited companies, each controlled by Bayer AG. These companies are: Bayer CropScience AG; Bayer HealthCare AG; Bayer MaterialScience AG and Bayer Chemicals AG and the three service limited companies Bayer Technology Services GmbH, Bayer Business Services GmbH and Bayer Industry Services GmbH & Co. OHG.

Following Bayer's successful reorganization, its chemicals activities (with the exception of H.C. Starck and Wolff Walsrode) have been combined with certain components of the polymers segment to form the new company LANXESS. This change took place on July 1, 2004, with LANXESS to be listed on the stock exchange by the beginning of 2005.

Bayer AG shares are listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and used to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. On September 5, 2007, Bayer announced it intends to file for delisting of its American Depositary Shares (ADSs) from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It is also planned to deregister with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and thereby terminate the respective reporting obligations.

Bayer is governed by a board of management, consisting of: Klaus Kühn, Wolfgang Plischke, Richard Pott, and Werner Wenning.[1]

In 2004 Bayer Healthcare AG acquired the OTC Pharmaceutical Division of Roche Pharmaceuticals.

On March 13, 2006, Merck KGaA announced a €14.6bn bid for Schering. Merck's takeover bid was surpassed by Bayer's (successful) $19.5B white-knight bid for Schering on March 23, 2006.


  Bayer AG was founded in Barmen (today a part of Wuppertal), Germany in 1863 by Friedrich Bayer and his partner, Johann Friedrich Weskott.

Bayer's first major product was acetylsalicylic acid (originally discovered by French chemist Charles Frederic Gerhardt in 1853), a modification of salicylic acid or salicin, a folk remedy found in the bark of the willow. By 1899, Bayer's trademark Aspirin was registered worldwide for Bayer's brand of acetylsalicylic acid, but because of the confiscation of Bayer's US assets and trademarks during World War I by the United States and the subsequent widespread usage of the word to describe all brands of the compound, "Aspirin" lost its trademark status in the United States and some other countries. It is now widely used in the US for all brands of the drug. However in some other countries, such as Canada,Mexico, Germany, and Switzerland it is still a registered trademark of Bayer.

In 1904, Bayer introduced the Bayer cross as its corporate logo, consisting of the horizontal word "BAYER" crossed with the vertical word "BAYER", both words sharing the "Y". Because Bayer's aspirin was sold through pharmacists and doctors only, and the company could not put their own packaging on the drug, the Bayer cross was imprinted on the actual tablets, so that customers would associate Bayer with its aspirin.

As part of the reparations after World War I, Bayer had its assets, including rights to its name and trademarks, confiscated in the United States, Canada, and several other countries. In the United States and Canada, Bayer's assets and trademarks were acquired by Sterling Drug, a predecessor of Sterling Winthrop.

Bayer became part of IG Farben, a conglomerate of German chemical industries which formed the financial core of the Nazi regime. IG Farben owned 42.5% of the company that manufactured Zyklon B[citation needed], a chemical used in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. When the Allies split IG Farben after World War II for involvement in several Nazi war crimes, Bayer reappeared as an individual business. Bayer executive Fritz ter Meer, sentenced to seven years in prison by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, was made head of the supervisory board of Bayer in 1956, after his release.

In 1978, Bayer purchased Miles Laboratories and its subsidiaries Miles Canada and Cutter Laboratories (along with a product line including Alka-Seltzer, Flintstones Vitamins and One-A-Day Vitamins, and Cutter insect repellent). In 1994, Bayer AG purchased Sterling Winthrop's over the counter drug business from SmithKline Beecham and merged it with Miles Laboratories, thereby reacquiring the U.S. trademark rights to "Bayer" and the Bayer cross.


Bayer has discovered, among others:


  • Antwerp, Belgium production facilities for Makrolon®
  • Lyon, France - European headquarters of Bayer CropScience
  • United Kingdom - Diagnostics Business Group
  • Italy - 5 production facilities
  • Spain
  • Hungary
  • Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Venezuela
  • Guatemala
  • El Salvador
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • Dominican Republic
  • Cuba
  • Jamaica
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Barbados
  • Bahamas
  • Curacao
  • Aruba
  • Argentina
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Mexico
  • Venezuala
  • South Africa
  • Turkey
  • Japan
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Myanmar
  • Laos
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • India
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Canada - Toronto headquarters and offices in Ottawa and Calgary; manufacturing facility in Sarnia, Ontario
  • Bayer USA
  • Philippines - The makers of Canesten, Autan and Baygon.

Bayer Animal Health

Bayer HealthCare's Animal Health Division is the maker of Advantage Multi™ (imidacloprid + moxidectin) Topical Solution for dogs and cats, Advantage® flea control for cats and dogs and K9 Advantix®, a flea, tick, and mosquito control product for dogs. Advantage Multi™, K9 Advantix® and Advantage® are trademarks of Bayer. The division is a worldwide leader in parasite control and prescription pharmaceuticals for dogs, cats, horses, and cattle. North American operation for the Animal Health Division are headquartered in Shawnee, Kansas. Bayer Animal Health is a division of Bayer HealthCare LLC, one of the world's leading healthcare companies.

Bayer CropScience

In 2002 Bayer AG acquired Aventis CropScience and fused it with their own agrochemicals division (Bayer Pflanzenschutz or "Crop Protection") to form Bayer CropScience. The company is now one of the world's leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. In addition to conventional agrochemical business it is involved in genetic engineering of food. The Flemish biotech company Plant Genetic Systems, became part of the company by the acquisition of Aventis CropScience.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

In 1904, the company founded the sports club TuS 04 ("Turn- und Spielverein der Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co."), later SV Bayer 04 ("Sportvereinigung Bayer 04 Leverkusen"), finally becoming TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen ("Turn- und Sportverein") in 1984, generally however known simply as Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The club is best known for its soccer team, but has been involved in many other sports, including athletics, fencing, team handball, volleyball, boxing, and basketball. TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen is one of the largest sports clubs in Germany. The company also supports similar clubs at other company sites, including Dormagen (particularly handball), Wuppertal (particularly volleyball), and Krefeld-Uerdingen.[2]

However, due to cost factors, the company has decided to cut back its sponsoring of its top sports teams in most areas. The sponsoring agreements with first and second-division teams in basketball, team handball, and volleyball, as well as in olympic-level athletics and fencing, will be terminated in 2008 or 2010. Despite their many successes (multiple German national championships as well as numerous Olympic medals), they are not considered to be valuable enough as a marketing tool in terms of their cost-to-benefit ratio. Only the very "telegenic" football (soccer) team, whose marketing value is very high due the exposure in the media and the popularity of the sport itself, will continue to be supported as in the past. General sponsoring of sport for youth and for handicapped people will also be continued as in the past.[3]


  • Aspirin discoverer

In his book Aspirin: The Story of a Wonder Drug, by Diarmuid Jeffreys, Mr. Jeffreys states, that Bayer AG sponsored the experiments of Nazi torturer Dr. Josef Mengele. In 1956 Fritz ter Meer became chairman of Bayer after having been sentenced at the Nuremberg trials to seven years' imprisonment for his part in carrying out experiments on human subjects at Auschwitz. The Bayer chemist who first found an aspirin formulation which was tolerable in the human stomach and did not have the unpleasant side effects of nausea and gastric pain was Arthur Eichengrün . He also invented the name aspirin and was the first person to use the new formulation to test its safety and efficacy. However, Eichengrün was excluded from the official version of Bayer's history in 1934 because of his Jewish origin. Instead, it was claimed by Bayer that aspirin was "discovered" by an "Aryan" scientist, Felix Hoffman, to alleviate the sufferings of his rheumatic father. Surprisingly, Bayer AG is still perpetuating this myth. The claims of Mr. Jeffreys are widely reflected in other publications and official records such as:

[4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

  • Liberty Link Rice
In August 2006, it became apparent that the United States rice crop had been devastatingly contaminated with unapproved genetically engineered Bayer CropScience rice as undisclosed amounts were found in commercial rice supplies. According to Greenpeace, 63% of exports were affected by the contamination, and the illegal rice was found in over 30 countries.[citation needed]

More specifically, the genetically engineered rice has an herbicide-resistance trait. These forms of rice are commonly referred to amongst US rice growers as, Liberty Link Rice 601 or LL 601.

There are approximately 100 varieties of rice produced primarily in the following six states: Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and California.

It is estimated that the US rice crop is valued at approximately $1.88 billion annually. In 2005, approximately 80% of the rice exported from the US was of the long grain variety. Unfortunately, the long grain variety is also the rice, which has been contaminated.[citation needed]

  • Gaucho
Main article: Imidacloprid effects on bee population
Bayer AG is involved in an ongoing controversy with French and Nova Scotian beekeepers over claimed pesticide kills of honeybees from its seed treatment insecticide imidacloprid. France has since issued a provisional ban on the use of Imidacloprid for corn seed treatment pending further action. A consortium of U.S. beekeepers has also filed a civil suit against Bayer CropScience for alleged losses.
  • Congo Civil War
Austrian journalist Klaus Werner alleged in his Black Book on Brand Companies, that the Bayer subsidiary H.C. Starck financed the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo by trading illegally with the mineral coltan. The allegations were also reviewed by a U.N. panel of experts, but specific claims against Starck since 2001 could not be proven.[citation needed]
  • Contaminated Blood Products
Main article: Contaminated haemophilia blood products
A cite from, access date 31.05.2006:
"After 1978, there were four major companies in the United States engaged in the manufacture, production and sale of Factor VIII and IX: Armour Pharmaceutical Company, Bayer Corporation and its Cutter Biological division, Baxter Healthcare Corporation and its Hyland Pharmaceutical division and Alpha Therapeutic Corporation, which have been or are defendants in certain lawsuits.
The plaintiffs allege that the companies manufactured and sold blood factor products as beneficial "medicines" that were, in fact, contaminated with HIV and/or HCV and resulted in the mass infection and/or deaths of thousands of haemophiliacs worldwide.
It is believed that three of these companies, Alpha, Baxter and Cutter, recruited and paid donors from high risk populations, including prisoners, intravenous drug users, and blood centers with predominantly homosexual donors, to obtain blood plasma used for the production of Factor VIII and IX. Plaintiffs allege that these companies failed to exclude donors, as mandated by federal law, with a history of viral hepatitis. Such testing could have substantially reduced the likelihood of plasma containing HIV and/ or HCV entering plasma pools."
New York Times article: [10]
MSNBC report: [11]
  • Baycol Deaths
Bayer's anti-cholesterol drug, Baycol (also known as Lipobay and cerivastatin), has deadly side effects. The Food and Drug Administration received reports of 31 US deaths due to rhabdomolysis, a potentially fatal adverse muscle reaction that results in muscle cell breakdown and release of the contents of muscle cells in the bloodstream. Symptoms include muscle pain, weakness, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Bayer admitted that the drug might have killed 52 people already worldwide, with another 1,100 potentially crippled. Although Bayer voluntarily recalled the drug after a large number of deaths, Germany's health minister, on 25 August 2001, accused Bayer of sitting on research documenting Baycol's lethal side-effects for nearly two months before the government in Berlin was informed.' There have been many individual and class action law suits, including one in Pennsylvania which cited 480 cases of Baycol-related illnesses. The number of Baycol related deaths has risen to almost 100.[citation needed]
  • Methyl Parathion Poisoning of Children
In October 2001, Bayer was taken to court after 24 children in the remote Andean village of Tauccamarca were killed and 18 more severely poisoned when they drank a powdered milk substitute that had been contaminated with methyl parathion.
The white powder that resembles powdered milk and has no strong chemical odour was packaged in small plastic bags that provide no protection to users and give no indication of the danger of the product within. The bags were labelled in Spanish only, and carried drawings of healthy carrots and potatoes but no pictograms indicating danger or toxicity.[citation needed]
  • Fluoroquinolenes
Using Baytril and other fluoroquinolenes in poultry and cattle leads to bacteria resistance bacteria and pathogens in animals, making is possible for strains of resistant bacteria to enter the human body. This makes human versions of the drug ineffective in treating people infected by these bacteria, which could be life-threatening to the elderly, to children and to those with depressed immune systems or in weakened conditiones. Fluoroquinolones are commonly prescribed to treat serious gastrointestinal illness, including from the common Campylobacter and Salmonella bacterias. Campylobacter accounts for nearly two million illnesses and 100 deaths each year, and Salmonella accounts for 1.3 million illnesses and about 500 deaths annually. Very few bacteria were found resistant to fluoroquinolones until the drugs also began to be used in poultry in 1995. By 1998, 13 percent of Campylobacter tested in humans were resistant to fluoroquinolones, and by 1999, nearly 18 percent of Campylobacter were found to be resistant.[citation needed]
After data collected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the use of fluoroquinolones in poultry was speeding up the bacteria's development of resistance to the drug, the US Food and Drug Administration concluded that the health of at least 5,000 Americans is affected each year by the use of these drugs in chickens. It also proposed to ban this use. Abbott Laboratories, one of the two producers of poultry fluoroquinolones in the US, voluntarily withdrew its product, but Bayer refused to comply with the proposed ban and instead requested a hearing on the proposal. This hearing may take years to complete, and by then the ban may be a moot point since the drug may be ineffective in humans by the time the FDA is able to issue a final ban on the use of these drugs in poultry.
Many NGOs, such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, have strongly advocated a ban for years. On 31 October 2000, Environmental Defense, the American Public Health Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest; Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance; Food Animal Concerns Trust; Global Resources Action Center for the Environment; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; National Catholic Rural Life Conference; Physicians for Social Responsibility; and Union of Concerned Scientists signed a letter to the Bayer Corporation asking it to comply voluntarily with the proposed ban. In November, more than 180 individual health care professionals and several medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Preventive Medicine, sent a similar letter to Bayer.
But Bayer has recently spent over US$ 50 million to build new production facilities for Baytril in Germany and the US. The company claimed that Baytril is completely harmless in a letter to veterinarians: "Bayer has and always will play a leading role in defending fluoroquinolones".[citation needed]
  • 2001 Medicare Reimbursement Action by US Government
In January 2001, Bayer agreed to pay $14 million to the United States and 45 states to settle allegations under the federal False Claims Act that the company caused physicians and other health care providers to submit fraudulently inflated reimbursement claims to the state and federally funded Medicaid program.[12]
  • 2006 Trasylol Safety Advisory
In September 2006, Bayer A.G. was faulted by the FDA for not revealing during testimony the existence of a commissioned retrospective study of 67,000 patients, 30,000 of whom received Trasylol and the rest other anti-fibrinolytics. The study concluded Trasylol carried greater risks. The FDA was alerted to the study by one of the researchers involved. Although the FDA issued a statement of concern they did not change their recommendation that the drug may benefit certain subpopulations of patients. In a Public Health Advisory Update dated October 3, 2006, the FDA recommended that "physicians consider limiting Trasylol use to those situations in which the clinical benefit of reduced blood loss is necessary to medical management and outweighs the potential risks" and carefully monitor patients. Trasylol Public Health Advisory Update
  • Bayer was given the lowest score (15 out of 100) of all rated companies in its category in the Human Rights Campaign's 2008 Corporate Equality Index, a measure of Gay and Lesbian workplace equlity.[1].

See also


  1. ^ 2008 Corporate Equality Index. Accessed 27 November 2007.


  • Blaschke, Stefan (1999). Unternehmen und Gemeinde: Das Bayerwerk im Raum Leverkusen 1891-1914. Cologne: SH-Verlag, ISBN 3-89498-068-0
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bayer". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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