While the world pays attention to the new wave of infections, and some pharma companies are rallying to find a cure, others face distinct problems such as cancer claims and lawsuits. One of the largest pharmaceutical companies globally, Bayer, hit the news as it has to pay $10.9 billion in settlements due to one of its products.
The amount will go to approximately 100,000 people who claim that one of its herbicides, Roundup, causes cancer. Roundup was initially the product of the US company Monsanto, which has been bought by Bayer in 2018 for $63 billion. For more than 40 years, the product became the world’s most famous weedkiller. The lawsuits revealed that Monsanto intentionally put aside the warnings that the herbicide has potential cancer-causing chemicals, and hid it from the consumers. The herbicide that caused complainants non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other sorts of cancers, glyphosate, is not a carcinogen from Bayer's point of view. The US Environmental Protection Agency supports its statement.
The German giant will pay up to $9.6 billion to settle the ongoing lawsuits and $1.25 billion to cover any possible litigation that could come up in the future. The money will be paid in two installments: $5 billion by the end of this year, and the rest in 2021. Moreover, Bayer is to pay $820 million in cases related to water pollution caused by a chemical compound polychlorinated biphenyl – now banned. And for another banned herbicide, it will pay from its pocket another $400 million.
After it was reported that Bayer would pay the settlements, the stock price climbed 6%; it lost more than 2% during today's session.
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Sources: bbc.com, nbcnews.com, media.bayer.com