Bayer AG Shareholders’ Meeting, Cologne, 29th April, 2014
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,
My name is Peter Noquet.
My questions to the the Chairman and Board of Bayer AG today concern the Bayer Schering product Primodos/Duogynon, a hormonal pregnancy test which has caused serious birth defects. Victims have been reported in a number of countries, including England, Germany and the U.S.A.
On the official Bayer website I see under “Mission and Values” that the Bayer Corporation’s avowed aim is “Responsible Care”.
What real, concrete meaning does Bayer Schering - its Chairman, Board, executives and employees worldwide - actually attach to the term Responsible Care?
Where does Responsible Care begin and where does it end?
We can, I believe, fairly assume that Responsible Care began with Bayer’s takeover of Schering. Is this view shared by the Chairman and Board of Bayer AG Leverkusen?
Where does Responsible Care end?
Responsible Care can never end, as long as serious injury has been caused to victims worldwide. There is no doubting the extent and seriousness of the injuries caused, both physical and psychological. People - human beings- have been hurt, damaged, born with serious malformations because of the Bayer Schering product Primodos/Duogynon. Real physical and psychological harm has been done to mothers, children and the children’s children by this drug.
My urgent question to the Chairman and Board of Directors of Bayer AG:
When will you act in accordance with your stated company principles?
When do you finally intend to assume responsibility?
If Responsible Care means that when corporate knowledge and competence is applied for people’s benefit and the desired result is not achieved, does not Responsible Care mean that Bayer AG as a company should surely be able to reach out to patients, human beings - people who have suffered appalling physical and psychological injury - and give them whatever help and support they need?
In the case of the Bayer Schering drug Primodos/Duogynon, what form should such help and support take?
Concrete and effective help and support for Primodos/Duogynon victims would be as follows: in the coming twelve months, every Primodos victim would receive the financial compensation that he or she needs (without the requirement for the time-consuming drafting of expert reports and counter-reports). In its discussions with Primodos victims, Bayer AG should fully renounce the conventional legal obligation for those who have suffered to prove a causal connection with the use of the Primodos hormone pregnancy test. A swift settlement of the victims’ claims and financial needs must not be accompanied by the imposition of a confidentiality clause (“muzzle”) by Bayer AG.
Finally, I hope that Bayer will, at long last, resolve this sad, and for Bayer as a corporation contemptible situation, a situation which for the Primodos/Duogynon victims can only literally add insult to injury.
Thank you for your attention.