Kekst Handling Cipro Crisis for Bayer
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

Kekst Handling Cipro Crisis for Bayer

Crisis management specialist Kekst & Company is working with German pharmaceutical giant Bayer on issues arising from the focus on its anti-anthrax drug Cipro.

Paul Holmes

NEW YORK, November 7—Crisis management specialist Kekst & Company is working with German pharmaceutical giant Bayer on issues arising from the focus on its anti-anthrax drug Cipro. Kekst was brought on board after Cirpo became a household word in the wake of bioterrorism attacks that delivered anthrax through the mail to reporters and politicians.
 
Kekst has also worked with Bayer on other issues, including the company’s negotiations with Holocaust survivors and their families, who claimed it was one of many German companies to exploit workers during the Nazi era, and more recently on its voluntary withdrawal of the cholesterol-lowering drug Baycol, which has been linked to more than 30 deaths.
 
But it is Bayer’s role as the sole supplier of Cipro that has turned the full glare of media attention on the company, which previously had maintained a low profile in the U.S.
 
Bayer began to ramp up production of Cipro immediately after the September 11 attacks, and enjoyed some good publicity when NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw, whose office has received anthrax-tainted mail, held up a bottle of Bayer’s drug on air, saying: “In Cipro we trust.”
 
But despite the company’s reassurances that it could meet demand for the drug, some government officials wanted the Bush administration to override the company’s patent, and controversy ensued, with some suggesting Bayer’s German management was slow to realize the urgency of the situation. (The Canadian government did override the company’s patent, despite a substantial donation of Cipro.)
 
According to Kekst partner Jeff Taufield, however, “This is a company that took the lead, that went to Washington to offer its services, that did everything it could to solve the problem. I think there have been some misperceptions about the company’s response, but this is a company that did the right thing from day one.”
View Style:

Load 3 More
comments powered by Disqus