Product Stewardship

We assess the possible health and environmental risks of a product along the entire value chain. This starts with research and development and continues through production, marketing and use by the customer through to disposal.

Bayer Pharmaceuticals employee Mouang Gomez (in the front) at the Kogenate production site in Berkeley, United States.Zoom image
Bayer Pharmaceuticals employee Mouang Gomez (in the front) at the Kogenate production site in Berkeley, United States.

At issue here are not just the safe handling and use of our products, but also the transparent communication and transfer of product safety information. Product stewardship involves both compliance with statutory requirements and voluntary commitment. Here, we also take into account the precautionary principle as explained in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration of the United Nations and communiqué COM (2000)1 of the European Commission.

Since 1994 Bayer has supported the voluntary Responsible Care? initiative of the chemical industry, which was globalized in 2006 with the introduction of the Responsible Care? Global Charter. We cover all main elements of the charter at all Group sites with our HSEQ (health, safety, environmental protection and quality) management systems and activities. We are also actively involved in the further development of scientific risk assessment through our work in associations and initiatives.

Further information about product stewardship can be found in our latest annual report.

Product Stewardship in the Use of Biotechnology

Biotechnological methods are used for product development in our Pharmaceuticals and Crop Protection businesses. Biotechnology has already gained significant importance in pharmaceutical product development. The Bayer products Betaferon? / Betaseron?, Eylea? and Kogenate? are manufactured by a biotechnological process. Further biotechnologically manufactured active ingredients are undergoing clinical development. Plant biotechnology can improve crop yields, yield security and the stress tolerance of plants through both genetic engineering and conventional breeding methods but with the same input of resources.

Safety is Bayer’s top priority in the use of biotechnology, too. Beyond our observance of all relevant legal provisions, we have formulated a Bayer Group Regulation “Position on the Responsible Use of Gene Technology” and specific regulations for the Pharmaceuticals and Crop Science divisions. We provide our stakeholders with comprehensive, transparent and reliable information about our products and services in accordance with our Bayer Responsible Marketing & Sales Policy.

We believe in the responsible use of plant biotechnology to improve the productivity and quality of crop plants. Biotechnology is used hand-in-hand with traditional plant breeding. Tools such as marker-assisted breeding and genetic modification can be used to make plants more resistant to pests and environmental stress conditions, thus helping to increase the yield and quality of food, feed, fibers and renewable raw materials in an environmentally friendly way. We use plant biotechnology in full compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and industry standards. Furthermore we participate in open and constructive dialogue with our stakeholders.

Focusing on Animal Welfare

Animal studies are legally required and essential from a scientific viewpoint to assess the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals and other chemical compounds. We aim to minimize the use of study animals and to employ replacement and complementary methods wherever possible.

In our handling of animals, we respect all legal requirements pertaining to animal welfare. Bayer’s principles on animal welfare and animal studies apply in countries without special animal welfare legislation and in the case of external studies compliance with these guidelines is contractually agreed. Bayer’s in-house Global Animal Welfare Committee – comprised of the animal welfare officers at our research sites and further Bayer experts – monitors compliance with our principles on animal welfare and animal studies within the Bayer Group and in external studies. It defines supplementary standards that are essential for carrying out animal studies in the Bayer Group.

Bayer ensures that international and national laws and directives are strictly observed during all animal studies. This is verified by both regulatory authorities and internal audits. Bayer additionally deploys its own animal welfare experts at all sites at which animal studies are carried out.
Our principles also apply to both the research institutes we commission and our suppliers, whose compliance with our animal welfare requirements we regularly monitor. The information provided in supplier self-evaluations is verified through on-site audits. Current figures and further information are available on our website.

Protection against Product Counterfeiting

Counterfeits: How to Protect Yourself

Counterfeit medicines and crop protection products harbor substantial risks for patients and consumers. Product counterfeiting is a global problem that can only be addressed internationally through a joint approach by industry, associations, governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations. Bayer consistently advocates the strengthening and expansion of existing laws and provisions aimed at the identification and confiscation of illegal products. We try to protect patients and our products through extensive measures of our own.