Bayer Says Baycol-related Deaths Total
18 (Reuters) - Germany's Bayer AG said on Friday the number of known
deaths related to use of the cholesterol drug Baycol, withdrawn
from sale last year, had doubled from an earlier estimate of 52.
A Bayer spokesman
told Reuters the group was now aware of around 100 deaths linked
to use of the drug.
In August, Bayer
withdrew Baycol after it was linked with 52 deaths around the world.
The recall will cost the company about 800 million euros ($704.8
million) in lost operating earnings in 2001.
SPATE OF LAWSUITS
The Baycol recall
led to a spate of lawsuits against Bayer and speculation that the
inventor of aspirin a century ago would have to meet compensation
US and German
attorneys said this week they were filing an amended class-action
lawsuit in the United States against Bayer to include victims of
Baycol in Germany and other countries.
cases in a US class-action lawsuit could be costlier for Bayer than
if the cases were heard by German or other courts. The United States
allows for punitive damages, and cases there often have higher compensation
suit names Bayer AG and US subsidiary Bayer Corporation as defendants,
as well as GlaxoSmithKline Plc. SmithKline Beecham, before it merged
with Glaxo, agreed in 1997 to co-market the cholesterol drug in
the United States.
Reuters By Steven