Bayer faces German probe and US lawsuit
(AFP / September
4, 2001) - Public prosecutors here said on Tuesday they were investigating
executives of the drugs giant Bayer in the scandal surrounding the company's
anti-cholesterol treatment Lipobay or Baycol.
A spokeswoman for the prosecutors' office in Cologne said that the investigation
would determine whether executives had negligently broken the German
drug law by bringing "dubious" drugs into circulation. "The
law states that it is forbidden to bring dubious drugs into circulation,
even negligently, and that is the allegation we're investigating here," the
spokeswoman told AFP.
Further details would be made available at a news conference later on
Tuesday, she added.
Last month, Bayer was forced to withdraw Lipobay, previously one of
its best-selling drugs, after conceding that more than 50 deaths might
be linked to it.
Bayer had no choice but to withdraw the drug following the discovery
of harmful side-effects, such as muscle degeneration, when the medicine
was used with another anti-cholesterol drug called Gemfibrozil.