Bayer CEO: ‘We don’t make medicine for poor Indians’

by Nikolai Brown, for Anti-Imperialism

I think I’m correct in saying that Bayer is an associate of IG Farben: the same IG Farben whose labour and product was used in the Holocaust…so it’s nice to see they haven’t strayed too far from their past.

During World War II, IG Farben used slave labor in factories that it built adjacent to German concentration camps, notably Auschwitz, and the sub-camps of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. IG Farben purchased prisoners for human experimentation of a sleep-inducing drug and later reported that all test subjects died. IG Farben held a large investment in Degesch which produced Zyclon B used to gas and kill prisoners during the Holocaust. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer

In a crass yet frank admission, Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers said the company’s new cancer drug, Nexavar, is not “for Indians,” but “for western patients who can afford it.” The statement came in the wake of a recent ruling by an Indian court that certain life-saving drugs could be produced and distributed at 97% of the brand-name price.
While Dekkers’ earnest admission is contemptible on a certain level, the ideological defense mounted by bourgeois media and others reveals a deeper level of truth:

Of course we want to make sure people have access to life-saving drugs,’ sycophants and beneficiaries of capitalism emphatically explain, ‘yet widespread violations of intellectual property rights erases the incentive to invest incredible resources into developing these drugs in the first place… Eventually, everyone [who is still alive] will benefit from adhering to the exclusive rights of intellectual property.

Such apologism for Bayer unwittingly implicates the wider system: ‘in order to produce life-saving drugs, we need to restrict access via pricing measures, dooming many to unnecessary suffering and death, so that we can make a profit and do it again.’ Of course, ‘everyone’ will ‘eventually’ receive hypothetical benefits over the long-run.
What will they promise next? Flying cars and elixirs to restore youth?

Bayer’s sordid history and the cancer industrial complex

Bayer was founded in 1863 in Barmen, Germany. In 1899, it trademarked aspirin. The previous year, it trademarked heroin and marketed it as a children’s cough medicine “without side-effects.”
During World War I, the company turned its attention toward the manufacturing of chemical weapons and even founded a “School for Chemical Warfare.”
Following the war Bayer joined with other chemical manufacturing firms to form Farben, the largest company in Germany at the time and the largest contributor to Hitler’s election campaign.
During the Second World War, Farben used slave labor in many of it factories and mines. Working with the Nazi regime, Farben owned the patent to Zyklon B, the cyanide-based gas used to murder over a million people in concentration camps throughout occupied Europe, which it produced without any odorant. In 1946, the Nuremburg Tribunal concluded that without Farben, WWII would not have been possible.
Only 13 of the 24 Farben board members indicted on crimes against humanity were sentenced to prison, and those who did received sentences which were, in the words of the prosecutors, “light enough to please a chicken thief.” Additionally, many of the Nazi-supporting executives and managers returned to the “new” companies that Farben’s assets were divided into in 1952.
Today, Bayer is a huge conglomerate with three primary divisions: Bayer HealthCare, which makes drugs and medical equipment; Bayer MaterialScience, which produces polymers and plastics; and Bayer CropScience, which produces pairings of GM crops and agricultural chemicals. Essentially, Bayer is three large companies, two of which produce or use materials which cause medical conditions like cancer, one which produces cures for medical conditions like cancer – but only for people who can can afford it.

The political economy of intellectual property

India is not the only country attempting to produce generic versions of patented drugs at a significantly lower cost. South Africa recently caused a row after a similar court ruling allowing for the low-cost local manufacturing and distribution of internationally-patented drugs. In both cases, western capital has threatened punitive actions and even more restricted access to new drugs in the future.
The controversy of local manufacturing of drugs highlights some of the contours of global contradictions. In this case, the bourgeoisie of a small handful of ascendant Third World countries are feeling more at liberty to challenge the economic hegemony of trilateral imperialism. Western imperialism, for its part, is feeling evermore threatened and determined to maintain its hegemony.
Economically speaking, patents and intellectual property is a type of monopoly capital. When joined with other forms of finance capital, i.e., insurance companies which typically pay the bulk of expensive treatments for those privileged enough to be covered, such monopoly capital allows for the circulation and concentration of capital in the core at the expense of the periphery. Hence, not only do intellectual property rights necessarily restrict access to life-saving medicine for those who cannot afford it, they are part of a system which creates the very conditions whereby the world’s masses are typically poor in the first place.

You can’t patent a solution

It is clear that a real solution to global health will not found within the modern capitalist-imperialist system. After all, under capitalism if pharmaceutical companies can not restrict access to their drugs to secure a profit, they have no purpose to exist and would actually fail as a company. The very business model of the drug companies is predicated within a larger system in which a majority of people will not be able to afford their products or services.
A real solution must be sought through a new governing economic principle: democratically and rationally producing and distributing the satisfaction of wants and needs. Such an economic system can only be instituted through revolution: the overthrow of capital-imperialist productive and social relations – intellectual property rights and all – and the economic and political ascendancy of the world’s exploited and oppressed masses.


– Sources –

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/26/bayer-pharmaceutical-ceo-cancer-drug-only-for-western-patients-who-can-afford-it/
http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/03/05/bayer-will-appeal-india-compulsory-licence-on-its-cancer-drug/
http://www.gmwatch.org/gm-firms/11153-bayer-a-history
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-31/drug-patent-threat-opens-division-on-how-to-fight-back.html
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rtj1211
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rtj1211

I’m afraid what you are saying is that the only people allowed to be the best at what they do must be self-less socialist saints. You expect people to push themselves to the limit to be the first in the world to discover something, develop something, but they should be accorded the same worth as the lazy folks who demand things without having put in the hard work necessary to earn it. It’s a viewpoint, but the problem is that the risk-reward ratio for the hardworking innovators is far, far worse than for the lazy spongers. There are huge imperfections… Read more »

binra
Reader

I read your mind as captured – that is – you actually believe what you are saying. Yes it’s a view. Have a look at “Cancer is a serious business” free online – and get a glimpse into the cartel of corporate and State via regulatory capture. This story exists to be told because the discoverer and holder of the patents held true to treating patients – regardless the extremity of the apparatus of state thrown at him. If you wont – then the salient part to my point is that when FDA etc couldn’t shut him down, (everything was… Read more »

Jen
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Jen

You are assuming that the likes of Bayer should be allowed to charge whatever they like for the drugs they sell because they reinvest their profits in research and development. That is quite a huge assumption to make. Isn’t it possible that most medicines and drugs are actually quite cheap to make and most of the profits pharmaceutical companies make go towards fattening the salary packages of senior executives or into dividends and bonuses paid out to individual and corporate shareholders, instead of being put back into the core business of producing drugs? Is it also possible that those actually… Read more »

Brian Harry, Australia
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Brian Harry, Australia

“Is it also possible that those actually engaged in R&D are quite poorly paid compared to their bosses in these firms,”
Pharmaceutical companies who justify high prices for their goods because they spend so much on R&D, fail to admit that these R&D costs are tax deductable anyway, so they already get a tax benefit from their R&D expenditure. It’s just more PR bullsh!t from fat, bloated CEO’s.

Willem
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Willem

In times where those who believe their lies with sincerity have all the power, it is kind of refreshing to hear from the mouth of a pharma CEO that Bayer does not make drugs for poor people*. Actually, I believe that Bayer also doesn’t make drugs for the rich or the sick. Here is an interesting story about the bloodthinner drug xarelto, a blockbuster drug for Bayer which brings in 2 billion USD yearly. And all it seems to be capable of is killing a couple of more people than the old bloodthinner (and literally rat poison) warfarin did. You… Read more »

Roger
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Roger

Sorry Vaska; previous comment was meant for ThomasT.

Vaska
Editor

I thought as much 🙂

mohandeer
Reader

Reblogged this on Worldtruth.

ThomasT
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ThomasT

Holohoax? It would have taken 37 years to cremate 6M with available facilities. Slave labour.. correct. Max Planck scientist, Rudolph Germa confirmed gas was enough to delouse. He got 5 years in jail for that. Me an anti semite. No, just an awakened Hungarian Jew who lost many to typhus and malnutrition. Int. Red Cross records kept in Germany confirm approx. 253K died.

Jen
Reader
Jen

ThomasT’s comment demonstrates the level of sheer ignorance common to many, not just Holocaust deniers but even also among those who accept that the Shoah occurred. The Nazis, their allies and subject populations in eastern Europe killed at least as many other people as they did Jews. The fact also that many camp prisoners died from typhus and malnutrition itself condemns the Nazis because disease and starvation are also weapons of genocide. The camps where Jewish and other people perished were located in remote parts of Poland near railway terminus points, deliberately so as to prevent Germans from knowing of… Read more »

Brian Harry, Australia
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Brian Harry, Australia

http://truedemocracyparty.net/2012/06red-cross-expose-judaicholocaust-hoax/
International Red Cross Information submitted in the interest of accuracy.

Vaska
Editor

There are dozens if not hundreds of Nazi-exonerating, anti-Semitic Internet sites, often created by Muslims, that are pushing that story.
However, the Red Cross document in question has been deliberately misrepresented by Holocaust deniers. The figure of 270,000 relates only to Germans and German Jews only. It is not the ‘total death toll across World War 2 concentration camps’. What’s more it refers only to figures found by the International Tracing Service of the Red Cross in documents at concentration camps at the end of WW2.
https://www.quora.com/Theres-an-International-Red-Cross-document-stating-that-the-total-death-toll-across-World-War-2-concentration-camps-was-around-270-000-Is-it-fake

Richard Le Sarcophage
Reader
Richard Le Sarcophage

Are you accusing ‘Muslims’ of being behind Holocaust denial? Looks awfully Islamophobic to me.

Brian Harry, Australia
Reader
Brian Harry, Australia

Anti-Islamic is perfectly ok in this world. Just have a look at the Western Media, ie, the 9/11 attack on the USA was carried out by 15 Arabs using box cutters to defeat the entire American air defence system(at exactly the same time that NORAD was shut down for an hour) while the American President was reading a book about his pet goat. It’s a true story, apparently.

Brian Harry, Australia
Reader
Brian Harry, Australia

Thanks for that. I have no idea what happened in WWII because I wasn’t born yet. But just as “the document in question has been deliberately misrepresented by Holocaust deniers” maybe the guy on Quora(who describes himself as an “Qualified amateur historian”?) has got his story wrong as well. Who knows what the truth is?
The problem is, no one is allowed to even discuss the Holocaust, let alone dispute it, without being branded as ‘Anti Semitic”

Roger
Reader
Roger

You are talking balls.

Vaska
Editor

Please note that this is not a Holocaust-denial site. We adamantly oppose the revisionism that peddles that Nazi-exonerating lie.

Norman Pilon
Reader

Hi Vaska, What happened to European Jewry in Europe at the hands of the Nazis is more or less what is happening now to the Palestinians at the hands of the Zionists. There most certainly was genocide — ethnic cleansing and mass murder aiming at the eradication of European Jews, although the target, though primary, was not exclusively that of European Jewry, and concentration camps overseen by the Nazi war machine were certainly a means to that end. As to the manner in which the butchery was actually executed and in what numbers, that is for people expert in archival… Read more »

Brian Harry, Australia
Reader
Brian Harry, Australia

Norman Pilon. Very eloquent. I wish I had said that.
If “The Holocaust” actually happened,(and I personally have no idea whether it did, or it didn’t), wouldn’t it be a great idea, if Israel showed some compassion towards the Palestinians, rather than treating them like ‘Concentration camp’ victims?
For all the great things that Jews have achieved in this world, here is their chance to show compassion towards the Palestinian citizens of Israel, who are on their knees, while “The World’s policeman” turns a blind eye to their suffering…………….

Norman Pilon
Reader

I agree: you would think that people recognizing the crime and monstrosity of what was done to them on the basis of their collective identity, having as it were ‘experienced’ the horror, would themselves refrain from inflicting the same horror on anyone else and for similar reasons, namely, a presumed ‘superiority,’ rather than to use that memory as a ‘justification’ for committing an equivalent crime. Apparently humans are capable of absolutely anything, living out their entire lives, as they do, deeply submerged in ideological and moral contradictions ( — a condition perhaps symptomatic of widespread and endemic cultural, economic and… Read more »

Brian Harry, Australia
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Brian Harry, Australia

‘like’

binra
Reader

If communication were possible, ideas could be shared and better ways of living together could be found. But if you want to live apart – don’t allow this to occur – or subvert and infiltrate it to make it a token opposition. ‘blockquote’ On 7/7/14 Shaked wrote on her Facebook page: Israeli MP Ayelet Shaked “They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists,” Shaked said, adding, “They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of every dead terrorist we… Read more »

bevin
Reader
bevin

“It would have taken 37 years to cremate 6M with available facilities. Slave labour.. ” What exactly is Thomas saying? And is it Holocaust denial? It seems to me that he is saying here, that by no means all of the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust were killed in ovens by Xylon B. Is it argued that this is not the case? I raise the matter reluctantly in the knowledge that this is not a subject which produces much in the way of light and that anti-semites and other neo-nazis have views which are intended to exonerate the… Read more »

Jen
Reader
Jen

Dear Bevin, There is a lot of misunderstanding about the Holocaust, and much of that misunderstanding has been exploited by Holocaust deniers and their friends and allies, and by the Israeli government and its friends and allies. The best estimates of the numbers killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau where Zyklon-B was used (and it was used only in that camp complex, not in others) are 1.1 million of whom about 960,000 were Jewish. https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005189 Other death camps (like Chelmno, Sobibor and Treblinka, located near Warsaw, for example) where Jews were gassed used carbon monoxide. The Nazis also used mobile gas vans in… Read more »

Richard Le Sarcophage
Reader
Richard Le Sarcophage

One of the purposes to which ‘the Holocaust’ is put is the project to exonerate Israel of its present-day crimes. For this project to work the Nazi crimes of extermination inflicted on Soviet civilians, Soviet POWs, Roma, gays, Jehovahs’ Witnesses, German Leftists and Jews, are reduced, for propaganda purposes, to the genocide of Jews only. Then, this now ethnically cleansed horror, was turned into a de facto State religion in the West, in societies like the UK, France, Belgium and the USA, where massive genocides of Indians, African, Congolese and the indigenous throughout the New World, are almost totally ignored… Read more »

binra
Reader

Discerning the purpose to which something is put, is free from being entrapped in the entanglements of engaging in terms of the framing of the content. I notice a very subtle mind-trap by which communication is prohibited and penalised – that is the means and power to enact penalty are feared. Such is an assertion of power over minds – that it cannot even be truly identified because it operates our identity. Without anti-Semitism, the Jewish Identity would and does assimilate. And so the fear of everyone ELSE suddenly hating and killing you and your family is embedded in Jewish… Read more »

binra
Reader

Freedom of speech is not freedom to incite hatred without meeting correction and limitation or withdrawal of support. There is a difference between mistakes, genuine differences of opinion, and hate agenda – but anyone here should be well aware that deceits can be set in all manner of trolling and disinfo. But also any institutional identity tends to avoid having its dirty washing made public – and so those with the power to do so, make sure that such revisions as are conceded are quietly effected in the background – so as not to give ‘ammunition’ to the Evil and… Read more »

binra
Reader

This article prompted me to offer http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/uk/ There is much information via the above link around the pseudo-scientific thinking that provides the corporate mask of technocracy over the power-politic which runs the ‘back end’ of whatever flavour of political face. ( Patents are a part of the story – but the suppression of natural medicine via regulatory and educational disinfo is another. The use of ‘medical science’ as tool of political power is so pervasive as to be invisible to those who grew up in its framing. The subversion and corruption of any ‘church’ to serve a ‘state’ of dictated… Read more »

binra
Reader

deserving heel was meant to read ‘deserving hell’ – but actually ‘deserving heel’ provides a fresh perspective on the meaning that ‘hell’ loses to arguments about whether hell is real – that cannot resolve because the use of the symbol varies to mean very different things to different people. Because something can be experienced, suffered and hated – does not mean that its inherent nature or condition is hateful, but it may be reflecting hate of which we are unaware or un-conscious simply because we are self-certainly ‘right’ or self-righteously certain. Those who set up scams are aware of their… Read more »