Today's Topic



Cipro Needs a Remedy,
Part II

Part I

Natalia J. Garland

Print Version

I really worry about our good neighbors south of the border. I feel concern for our friends and allies around the world. If their brands of Cipro are sub-standard, what will happen if they get infected with anthrax? Will Bayer supply them with Cipro made in America? How ghastly to think that in the event of a massive bioterrorist attack, only some American citizens will survive and the rest of the world will die.

Bayer is a large corporation. Bayer employs about 22,200 people. In 1999, Bayer had sales of $8.9 billion. Bayer Corporation, which is a part of Bayer Group, has its main office in Pittsburgh, PA. The Bayer Group is based in Leverkusen, Germany. Worldwide, Bayer has about 350 companies which employ 117,300 people. Japan is Bayer's largest Asian market, then China, Singapore, and Thailand.

Now, Bayer formed its first company in Mexico in 1921. In Mexico, Bayer manufactures medicines as well as products such as plastic and rubber. On the Bayer website, the addresses and aerial photos of their Mexican offices and factories are provided. Although I can understand the pride Bayer must feel over its accomplishments, and although I appreciate their openness, I feel trepidation at the possibility of a terrorist accessing addresses and photos.

I do not know exactly where the Bayer Cipro is manufactured. If I were employed by Bayer in Mexico where perhaps Cipro was being made, and if my life or the lives of my loved ones were at stake, and if the Mexican brands of Cipro are inferior, I wonder if I would pocket some Bayer Cipro? Life and death issues such as this should not be decided by any corporation, government, doctor or hospital. Citizens should not in any way be pitted one against the other for survival. Survival should not come at the expense of conscience and humanitarian values. We are living under wartime circumstances. In this new era of terrorism, access to Cipro should be a basic human right.

Cipro should be marketed as an over-the-counter medication. It should be as plentiful as headache pain relievers and cough syrups. Moreover, Bayer should share its recipe for Cipro with all foreign drug companies. Bayer should do this freely as a wartime necessity and humanitarian contribution. Let the Mexican manufacturers improve their product if needed, and let Americans have choices. In return, Bayer will be remembered as a savior of mankind.

The more systems there are that manufacture Cipro, the less likely that the terrorists could destroy them all. The more Cipro is readily available, the less likely that citizens will panic or hoard. The more America works closely with neighbors, friends, and allies, the stronger we will be. It is not in America's best interest to totally dominate the production of Cipro. Let the business corporate heads compete for economic domination in other areas, but not with this. We have already seen how a concentration of power within the Microsoft system makes it easy to spread computer viruses and cause irreparable damage. The same will hold true if the manufacture of Cipro is concentrated and not allocated among allied sectors.

Average citizens were heroic in rescuing and comforting one another after the 9/11 attack. We probably all viewed these heart wrenching scenes on televison. The government, therefore, needs to put more trust in us. (Please go to the Bibliography for a reference on this subject.) Citizens need to be educated on anthrax infection and on the administration of Cipro. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have Cipro on hand just in case. I have Advil on hand just in case of a headache. It is a sign of personal responsibility to be prepared, and it is a victory over psychological terror to feel prepared.

If you would like to do some more research on this topic yourself, here are some resources which I found helpful. I visited the websites of the following organizations: Bayer, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Cipro U.S.A., Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I used the December, 2001, issue of Wired magazine. I also telephoned two California border compliance officers. I sent an e-mail to the F.D.A. with specific questions, but they were able to respond only with a generic form e-mail due to an overload of e-mail on their system. (Written 01/21/02: For a complete listing of sources, a bibliography is available.)

Until we meet again..............stay sane.

Find More Topics in the Table of Contents

Return to Homepage


Copyright 2002 Natalia J. Garland