Bayer CEO started Medical Apartheid: Denies its Cancer medicine to Indians
MNCs are only for ruthless profits regardless of any ethic, morality and human value. The recent statement made by Mr. Marijn Dekkers, CEO of agro-chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer precisely told that these Corporations are meant for extracting money and extortion at any cost.
"We did not develop this medicine (Nexavar) for Indians," ?Marijn Dekkers said at a little reported pharmaceutical forum last month, according to the January 21st edition of Businessweek.
"We developed it for western patients who can afford it," Dekkers said, and called the Indian regulator's action "essentially theft".
Being among the largest Chemical Company in the world and having huge business in India Bayer is into selling and manufacturing human and animal drugs, agro-chemicals (Pesticides) and material science. One of its products ‘Nexavar’ used to treat liver and kidney cancer is highly expensive and India’s Controller General of Patents has allowed a local drug manufacturer to produce its generic copy in India. It is noteworthy that Bayer Corporation has obtained a patent in India in 2008 for Nexavar which cost Rs. 2.8 lakh for a month’s dosage of pack of 120 tablets. On March 9, 2012, the Controller of Patents, Mumbai, granted the first-ever compulsory licence to local Drug Company Natco to make ‘Sorofenib Tosylate’, a generic version of Bayer’s high-priced anti-cancer drug Nexavar. Natco was told to sell the pack at Rs. 8,800 which is almost 97% discount to the original selling price of the Bayer product in India. No MNC will like any court order disallowing them from making unethical profit of more than 30 times than what that drug can be made available for.
Now one can easily understand reason behind Mr. Dekkers irritation.
Making this statement Bayer is openly admitting the drugs they are developing are deliberately going to be rationed only to the wealthiest patients. It is clear-cut case of concentration of wealth, resources and services for Super-rich Class. It is the system which throws out those who can't afford to pay.
Now look at other Bayer businesses in India, its agro-chemical (Pesticides) division Bayer Crop Science India Ltd, is leading pesticide manufacturer roughly occupying 20% market share in total pesticide market of Indian agriculture. In Punjab they hold major market share in pesticide sale. One of the pesticides Bayer was selling until 2010 was Thiodan (Endosulfan) which they shelved off after years of global campaigning by the PAN Network, which is linked to autism, birth defects and male reproductive harm. Later on Bayer showcased as if the decision was taken as a responsibility to public safety while the truth is well understood.
Bayer is primary producer of “Imidacloprid” neonicotinoid group of pesticides used as foliar spray and seed treatment for controlling sucking insects in India and world over. Neonicotinoid group is considered to be the prime reason for honey bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) and facing 3 year ban in Europe beginning from Dec-2013 after a law suit filed by local bee keepers. In India Imidacloprid is a cash cow for Bayer’s pesticide business generating huge revenues, so forget about Bayer issuing any self-imposed ban on similar ground to safeguard honey bees in India? Bees are a far away case when Mr. Dekker feels no different for humans.
Recently Yellow-rust outbreak alarm was waved off by Agri-Department of Punjab and Haryana (which has become an annual ritual of January month). “Tebuconazole” was one of the recommendations suggested by Agri-Scientists on wheat crop for managing Yellow-rust. Tebuconazole is a Bayer manufactured fungicide with brand name “Folicur” and Bayer being its prime producer. We don’t know how sure recommending agencies are about the effectiveness of this fungicide on Yellow-rust but farmers do surely recognize one thing in common about skin sensitisation effect while they get exposed to Tebuconazole. Further inquiring on Tebuconazole popped up the fact that it is listed as a possible carcinogen(cancer-causing) in United States Environment Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs carcinogen list with a rating of C(possible carcinogen). We hope this not to be true and if so than Bayer should sue Wikipedia for flagging all this miss-information about Tebuconazole. But if it comes out to be true than this poses serious concerns and requires detailed studies by Agri-Scientists before bluntly recommending and exposing wheat crop to carcinogenic pesticides in state like Punjab which is already burdened under Cancer threat.
Here we should keep in mind that Tabuconazole is the same pesticide with different formulation used for wheat seed treatment under the brand name Raxil which got unwanted publicity when Former Managing Director of the Haryana Seeds Development Corporation (HSDC) Mr. Ashok Khemka questioned its efficacy and alleging the purchase was made at exaggerated rates. His demand of audit was rejected on misuse of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana funds to purchase the fungicide at rates much higher than which it was supplied to other government agencies by Bayer Crop Science Ltd.
Bayer plans to attain leadership position in pesticide market in populous countries like India while refusing the same population from cancer curing lifesaving drugs. Sufficient studies are done predicting food, air and water toxicity due to over pesticide usage being the prominent precursor of cancer. Here India should stand by the decision for allowing generic version of cancer curing therapy giving strong message to people like Mr Dekker so as to think before making such derogatory remarks on Indian population.
The question which is arising from this racist remark and colonial mind-set is, “should we allow these money minded Corporate to operate this way?”
Or reading between the lines Mr Dekker’s is indirectly advising Indian agriculture community to stop using pesticides (one among the prime causes of cancer) because cancer curing drugs are not meant for people of India. Thank you Mr. Dekker for this statutory warning, now the decision lies with farmers of India.