Let’s explore “4 Astonishing Revelations About Bayer Pharmaceuticals”, a journey into the surprising and sometimes dark history of this renowned pharmaceutical giant.
1. Known globally for its flagship product, aspirin, Bayer Pharmaceuticals also has a grim historical chapter associated with the Holocaust. The company purchased prisoners from the Auschwitz concentration camp to conduct drug testing. In its alliance with Nazi Germany, Bayer played an instrumental role, with thousands of victims succumbing during human experiments, including the testing of unknown vaccines.
2. Bayer’s ethical practices have also been questioned in a scandal involving blood products contaminated with HIV. Despite knowledge of the contamination, the company chose not to destroy the inventory, instead selling it worldwide, citing the financial investment in the product as too significant to dismiss.
3. An intriguing fact about Bayer involves the remarkable two-week period in the late 1880s during which Felix Hoffmann, a German chemist working for the company under Adolf Von Baeyer, invented both aspirin and heroin.
4. Aspirin, trademarked by Bayer in 1897, went on to become a staple of medicine cabinets worldwide. However, in a surprising twist following the Treaty of Versailles, which ended WW1, Bayer was forced to forfeit the trademark, rendering aspirin a generic drug. Similarly, Bayer also lost the trademark to “heroin,” originally marketed as a cough medicine under the company’s brand. This potent compound, known technically as diacetylmorphine, is now globally recognized by its once trademarked name, “heroin.”