The breakdown series at Bayer’s drug production does not stop. This time, a supplier from France is to blame. Emergency physicians need liquid aspirin for heart attack patients. The removal of the bottleneck should take months.
While the Bayer board of directors puts all its strength into the takeover of the US company Monsanto, there are always new problems in the pharmaceutical sector. Now Bayer has difficulty delivering liquid aspirin. Officially, the drug is called « Asprin iv » and is powder and solution for solution for injection or infusion, which is used against fever and severe pain (such as migraine), but also by emergency physicians in patients with heart attack or angina pectoris is injected to dilute the blood. « We are currently only partially able to supply Aspirin iv and supply only quota, » said Bayer spokeswoman Jutta Schulze decalred.
« The cause of the problem is quality-related failures at a contractor in France who produces aspirin iv for Bayer. » The deficiencies were noted in internal controls. There are no shortages of prescription aspirin tablets, Schulze emphasized. Many forms of aspirin are available for free sale in the pharmacy. Some variants such as aspirin iv are only available by prescription.
As early as 2017, Bayer was temporarily unable to deliver and reported bottlenecks to the authorities. The problem: Bayer is the only supplier of the active ingredient in liquid form in Germany. « The active ingredient lysine acetylsalicylate-glycine is very complex, the French manufacturer is the only one who makes it for Bayer, » said the spokeswoman. She emphasized: « Patient care is guaranteed, especially as the aspirin tablet can also be used in emergency medicine. » The Society for Emergency Medicine stated in 2017 that aspirin could also be given as a tablet. Hospital pharmacists, however, stressed that the effect of the tablet is more limited and unreliable – especially since not all emergency patients can swallow more.
It is clear: It will take a long time until the current bottleneck is resolved. « We take the problem very seriously and are working on a solution, but this will take several months, » said Schulze. « We are in contact with hospital pharmacies and authorities. »
The delivery bottleneck at Aspirin joins a chain of glitches that Bayer has in the manufacture of prescription drugs (Pharmaceuticals) such as over-the-counter (Consumer Health). Head of Consumer Health, Erica Mann, said goodbye to March 1st.
In the summer of 2017, Bayer had difficulty in delivering Bepanthen ointment. At that time, technical problems were the cause of the introduction of a new ointment and cream mixer at the Grenzach plant near Basel.
In February 2018, Bayer made public that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) objected to the production of medicines at the Leverkusen site. Affected are the sexual enhancer Levitra and the antihypertensive Adalat Oros. These are manufactured or packed in Leverkusen. Among other things, the authority complained that Bayer only insufficiently clean up residues, perform quality controls only insufficiently and do not adequately handle information on leaks. The elimination of the deficiencies is complicated, it comes to serious delivery losses, the Bayer cost 300 million euros, as Bayer had to concede recently. Schulze emphasized that the current aspirin case has nothing to do with the bottlenecks in Leverkusen.
And last but not least, Bayer has trouble with Iberogast. The Federal Institute for Medicines sees risks in the popular gastric juice: Bayer should write on the package leaflet that Iberogast can damage the liver and must not be taken by pregnant women. Bayer rejects that. The case is now in court.
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