In February of 1984, a division of the pharmaceutical company Bayer (Cutter Biological) knowingly sold H.I.V. infected medications to Asia and Latin America to prevent financial losses. After a discovered H.I.V. outbreak in America amongst small, hemophiliac children that was traced back to Bayer medications, the company began to sell a new, safe medication in the West, however they sent the old batches, many of which they knew were infected, to Argentina, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. The worth of this medication totaled more than $4 million.
As unbelievable as this report may seem, I was able to trace an original article to the New York Times. Published on March 18th, 1987, it states, “Bayer A.G., the giant West German chemical company, said today that it had been sued over its sale of hemophilia drugs that may have been infected with the AIDS virus.”
It continues that Bayer representatives stated that fewer than twenty patients filed liability claims against the company, however according to a later article from New York Times, published in 2003, there’s no way of really knowing how many people were infected. Most patient records are unavailable, and since the AIDS test wasn’t developed until later in the epidemic, it’s difficult to pinpoint when foreign hemophiliacs were infected. However, in Hong Kong and Taiwan, more than 100 hemophiliacs were recorded to have contracted the disease after taking medication from the old batches.
Bayer officials, of course, stated that they had “behaved responsibly, ethically and humanely” in selling the infected medications overseas. This was after they had promised the United States regulators that they wouldn’t sell it at all…
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