Bayer will run a $20 million corrective ad campaign for its contraceptive brand Yaz to settle a case where it was accused of deceptive advertising.
The news cements Bayer's reputation as the most ethically challenged pharma company in the business -- it is only the latest in an increasingly long string of citations and settlements in which Bayer has been accused of deceptive marketing. (See list below.) The previous accusations cover both Rx and OTC drugs, diet supplements and veterinary treatments. Reuters:
The latest judgment, filed in Massachusetts' Suffolk Superior Court, resolves allegations that Bayer's 2008 marketing of Yaz violated the terms of the 2007 agreement by not disclosing the uses for which Yaz has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.Bayer must now submit all its Yaz ads to the FDA for prior approval. Bayer had just invested a bunch of cash in an endorsement deal with The Hills star Lo Bosworth. Bayer was caught by the Boston AG claiming Yaz treated PMS when the FDA has never approved it for that use. It's not the first time Bayer has been found advertising unapproved uses of drugs. In October 2008, the company was slammed for selling aspirin for unapproved uses.
The 2007 agreement involved allegations of deceptive advertising, including a failure to disclose the safety risks in Bayer's marketing of its cholesterol drug Baycol, which was withdrawn in 2001.
- Bayer's recent ethics challenges:
- Bayer Funding of Beekeepers' Association Draws Controversy
- Bayer to Pay $796,500 in EPA Fines at Plant That Exploded
- FDA sends Bayer a warning letter for unsubstantiated claims over Drontal for dogs.
- Trasylol Deaths Trigger Lawsuits
- Ethics Problems Are Business as Usual at Bayer
- In October 2008, the FDA slammed Bayer with two warning letters for allegedly unlawfully selling two unapproved aspirin products.
- In 2007 the FTC extracted a $3.2 million settlement from Bayer after the company falsely claimed its One-A-Day WeightSmart multivitamins could somehow help with weight loss.
- That FTC order came after Bayer had already violated a pre-existing FTC not to market OTC products unless those products can "be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence."
- In July 2007, the National Advertising Division said Bayer should discontinue its advertising for its All-Day Energy multivitamin, which doesn't last all day.
- In June 2007, NAD said Bayer was not telling the truth when it said Aleve was the No. 1 medicine among orthopedic surgeons.
- In March 2007, NAD said Bayer was making unsubstantiated claims about rivals to its Ascencia diabetes blood glucose monitor.