Bayer's Bitter Pill

BAYER

DRUG WAR: Bayer's cholesterol remedy is under legal fire

The share price of German pharmaceuticals titan Bayer AG slid 26% last week — at one point touching a 10-year low. The reason: lawyers claimed to produce a "smoking gun" in their lawsuit against the company's American arm over the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipobay (also known as Baycol). Bayer voluntarily withdrew the drug from the market in August 2001, when it was linked to rhabdomyolysis, a muscle-destroying condition that can be fatal. But attorneys last week produced excerpts from correspondence between executives at Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline from 1997, which warned that "simple and safe no longer appears to be a viable promotional...

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