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Boehringer Ingelheim

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Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation is a global pharmaceutical company based in Ingelheim, Germany. Products include cold, gastrointestinal and pain remedies. It also makes vaccines, drugs and nutritionals for farm animals and pets. Brand name over-the-counter (OTC) remedies include Zantac and Dulcolax. Prescription drugs include treatments for respiratory ailments, hypertension, HIV, and depression. The Boehringer family controls the company through the C.H. Boehringer Sohn parent company. [1]

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals is the company's pharmaceutical unit and research and developement (R&D) center, with headquarters in the United States. It markets prescription and OTC drugs in the U.S. Brand names include respiratory drugs Spiriva and Atrovent; the high blood pressure drug Micardis; the enlarged prostate drug Flomax; the Parkinson's disease drug Mirapex and the HIV/AIDS drugs Aptivus and Viramune. It specializes in immunology, inflammatory conditions and cardiovascular diseases.[2]

In the fiscal year ending in 2008, the company reported global sales of over 16.3 billion dollars and had 41,300 employees. [3]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Boehringer Ingelheim has been a corporate funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)[4][5], and a member of ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force[6]. See ALEC Corporations for more.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Animal testing

Boehringer Ingelheim does animal testing.

Facility information, progress reports & USDA-APHIS reports

For links to copies of this facility's U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Facility Reports and Information: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ridgefield, CT. [7]

USDA AWA reports

As of May 26, 2009, the USDA began posting all inspection reports for animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, handlers, research facilities and animal carriers by state. See also USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports.

Animal cruelty & welfare violations

Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN) is a national research watchdog organization. [8] SAEN has included Boehringer Ingelheim among the worst violators of U.S. laws. Boehringer Ingelheim amassed 19 violations in a nine month period, including incidents where primates died in cage washers. According to government reporting, drug testing labs violate the Animal Welfare Act a collective average of three times a week. (Government reports and ranking statistics available upon request.) [9]

Boehringer fined $20,060 for animal cruelty

In November of 2007, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in Ridegefield, Connecticut issued a statement regarding several incidents that resulted in a $20,060 fine from the USDA in 2006. The incidents included the death of a rhesus monkey that was mistakenly steam washed and severe burns to the finger pads of another monkey that led to the amputation of several digits. According to the company, the USDA revealed "inadequate" animal handling practices which were "absolutely unacceptable."

"We have done a great deal over the past several years to remedy the situation, including implementing a series of guidelines and safeguards, adding numerous improvements and upgrades to our facility, and increased staffing in an effort to prevent these incidents from occurring in the future."

In November of 2006, the Danbury Connecticut New-Times requested the company's USDA reports under the Freedom of Information Act (FOA). According to documents, a dog exhibited "unrelieved distress" in experiments which were "in excess of USDA allowances." According to May 4, 2005 report:

"The combination of recurrent episodes of elevated body temperature with inappetance (a condition caused by an animal not getting enough nutrition) in Dog No. 1654 would be considered to be distressful to the animal."

According to the report, the problem was corrected by July 1, 2005. On April 5, 2004, a beagle was found dead in its cage. According to the USDA report:

"The front half of the dog's body had passed through the vertical bars of the enclosure door and the animal was wedged between the bars. Modification to caging was made within one day after the dog was found dead."

The report also cited a rhesus monkey found dead June 1, 2004, after its cage had been steam-washed. The three employees responsible for removing monkeys from their cages, allegedly "did not see the small monkey in the cage" before running it through a steam cleaner. Two days after a cynomolgus monkey was used in an experiment on September 14, 2004; the skin had sloughed off its hand pads and several digits had to be amputated. A USDA report determined that the cause was a "thermal injury" and an "inappropriate use of supplemental heat sources during recovery from anesthesia." Personnel had failed to notify the attending veterinarian that the monkey had "an abnormal physical condition". According to the company, the employees were "sanctioned" and "action was taken" to ensure that similar incidents would not reoccur. On Oct. 30, 2004, a rhesus monkey was found dead in its cage after a "toxicology study preparation" five days earlier. According to company and USDA reports, the monkey died of "self-inflicted trauma" resulting from the way it was handled. The USDA report also contained numerous minor violations regarding the storage of food and "distress in primates." According to USDA spokesperson, Karen Eggert, the $20,060 fine reflected "a number of violations."

"We fine up to $2,500 per violation. We have a lot of facilities that self-report when finding an employee was noncompliant, and that is the right thing to do. We work with companies to ensure that they're comfortable reporting to us."

Boehringer notified the USDA on its own, after "noncompliance" with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). [10] was found. According to Michael Budkie, executive director of SAEN, the Cincinnati based group that brought the incidents to the attention of the press:

"It's very important for the public to know about situations like this. You have to wonder if they can't follow basic animal safety measures and you see them engaging in sloppy science. ...What that means for the effect their practices could have on people who use their products. ...When a primate is killed in a cage because employees can't check to make sure of the presence of the animal before putting the cage into the washing system, that's just plain carelessness."

According to SAEN, the fine was inadequate considering the company's net worth, although it was high by USDA standards:

"If you had a speeding ticket and the fine was $3, would you care?" [11]

Drug issues

Viramune (Nevirapine)

Drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS are various classes of toxic chemotherapies known as "antivirals" or "antiretrovirals". The AIDS drug Nevirapine is marketed under the brand name "Viramune." Nevirapine functions similarly to AZT in that it interferes with the essential movement of genetic information in the cell. It blocks an enzyme which translates RNA into DNA. One alarming side effect of this drug is called Steven-Johnson Syndrome, which causes the skin to literally come off of the body. In pathetic images of the unfortunate sufferers, hands, abdomens, faces, and mouths are bursting with blood and flesh comes off like old paint steamed off a wall, as very clearly stated in the warning label of the drug:

"Severe, life-threatening skin reactions, including fatal cases, have occurred in patients treated with Viramune [Nevirapine]. These have included cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and hypersensitivity reactions characterized by rash, constitutional findings, and organ dysfunction. Patients developing signs or symptoms of severe skin reactions or hypersensitivity reactions must discontinue Viramune as soon as possible."
"Severe, life-threatening and in some cases fatal hepatoxicity (liver damage), including hepatic necrosis (liver death) and hepatic failure, has been reported in patients treated with Viramune."[12]

See also images of children with Steven Johnson Syndrome.[13] & AIDS industry.

African drug trial cover-up

In December of 2004, Dr. Edmund Tramont, head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) AIDS division, was outed by fellow NIH AIDS researcher Dr. Jonathan Fishbein for burying evidence of drug toxicity in an African drug trial. Documents obtained by the Associated Press (AP) revealed that Dr. Tramont censored thousands of toxic reactions and at least 14 deaths in the ongoing Nevirapine study in Uganda. South African President Thabo Mbeki accused the U.S. of using Africans as “guinea pigs”. Rev. Jesse Jackson called the cover up "an outrage.” The media seized on story, but Nevirapine was known in 2000 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added a black-box label due to the drug’s ability to cause fatal liver damage and bloody rupturing of skin and flesh (Steven-Johnson Syndrome). Boehringer Ingelheim originally slotted the drug for pregnant HIV-positive women in the U.S. However, Nevirapine’s toxicities were so great they pulled it out of the FDA approval process. Then,

"they did what all AIDS drug manufacturers do with their garbage – dump it into the gay, Black or foreign market and tell the soft-headed liberal media that it’s an “antiretroviral” that will stop AIDS."

The Ugandan study Tramont helped bury was overseen by Dr. Laura Guay, a U.S. doctor from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Under Dr. Guay, the drug was approved for overseas. "How does a drug that kills Americans save Africans?" South African lawyer and journalist Anthony Brink scrutinized the study and approval process in his 2002 online publication, “The Trouble with Nevirapine.” His work on AZT was also widely read by South African leadership, and prompted President Thabo Mbeki’s early criticism of AIDS drugs. Dr. Fishbein tracked down Brink, whose Nevirapine study he described as “an expertly written piece about this very dangerous drug.”[14]

See also The Trouble with Nevirpine. [15] & AIDS industry.

Personnel

  • Andreas Barner - Chairman; Head, Pharmaceutical R&D & Medicine Division
  • Wolfram Carius - Member, Management Board; Head, Operations & Human Resources
  • Hubertus von Baumbach Member, Management Board; Head, Finance & Animal Health Divisions [16]

Boehringer Pharmacueticals

  • J. Martin Carroll - President & CEO
  • Stefan Rinn Sr. - Sr. VP
  • Paul Fonteyne - Executive VP, Sales & Marketing [17]

Contact

Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation
Binger Str. 173
55216 Ingelheim, Germany

Phone: Toll Free: 800-556-8317

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
900 Ridgebury Rd.
Ridgefield, CT 06877

Phone: 800-243-0127

Web address: http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Company Description: Boehringer Ingleheim Corporation, Hoovers, accessed December 2009
  2. Company Description: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Hoovers, accessed December 2009
  3. Company Description: Boehringer Ingleheim Corporation, Hoovers, accessed December 2009
  4. Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research, project of the Environmental Working Group, Information on American Legislative Exchange Council, archived organizational profile, archived by Wayback Machine December 2, 2000, accessed August 19, 2011
  5. American Legislative Exchange Council, Keeping the Promise: Making Health Care Accessible and Affordable for All Americans, January 1993, archived in Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, accessed July 2011
  6. American Legislative Exchange Council, HHS Task Force, June 29, 2011, organizational membership spreadsheet, June 29, 2011, p. 32, obtained and released by Common Cause April 2012
  7. Facility Reports and Information: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ridgefield, CT, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, accessed January 2011
  8. Description of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, Wiserearth, accessed November 20, 2008
  9. Micheal Budkie Pharmaceutical/Testing Companies Among Nation’s Leaders for Federal Violations, Says Watchdog Group, SAEN, February 2007
  10. Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, U.S. Department of Agriculture, December 2009
  11. Susan Tuz Boehringer fined $20,060 for animal cruelty, Danbury News-Times, November 2007
  12. Liam Scheff Noble Doctors Try New Drugs on AIDS Orphans, Crux Magazine, November 2004
  13. Michael Kane, Jamey Hecht, Michael C. Ruppert Another Attack on Authentic Investigative Journalism: An Open Letter to the New York Times in Defense of Liam Scheff, From the Wilderness, 2006
  14. Liam Scheff Nevirapine blues: Stepping over bodies on the way to market, reducetheburden.org, December 2004
  15. Anthony Brink The Trouble with Neverpine, virusmyth.com, April 2002
  16. Company Description: Boehringer Ingleheim Corporation, Hoovers, accessed December 2009
  17. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.: Company Description, Hoovers, accessed December 2009

External articles