Bayer AG

Stock Exchange: Frankfurt Stock Exchange Ticker: BAYN HQ: Leverkusen, Germany Employees: 123,352



Rank 12 in 2016




Falls from 12th place in 2016 to 16th. Despite maintaining key donation programmes, Bayer performs comparatively poorly in its approach to equitable pricing, and its transparency around IP management is low.

Performance by technical area
Performance by strategic pillar


Falls 5 places to 16th. Comparatively poor performance on reporting access commitments.


Rises 4 places to 10th.  Although it holds a comparatively average standard of transparency, it continues to incentivise sales agents against sales targets.


Rises 4 places to 8th. With a mid-ranking performance it lacks a process to develop access plans during R&D, but considers access for a key paediatric product.


Falls 4 places to 15th, with a comparatively low proportion of equitable pricing strategies applied in priority countries.


Holds 18th place. One of only two companies without a public commitment to not enforce and/or file patents in countries in scope. Fails to disclose patent statuses.


Falls 1 place to 14th. Focus on pharmacovigilance, with no initiatives meeting all good practice standards.


Holds at 8th place. Maintains three structured donation programmes committed to the elimination of two NTDs.


Review IP management approaches. Bayer can look to adopt a public, access-oriented IP management approach. This would include a public stance on not filing for or enforcing patents related to diseases in scope in Least Developed Countries, low-income countries, and in a subset of lower-middle income countries and upper-middle income countries. Eighteen other companies in the Index have already taken this step. Bayer can also publicly disclose the status of its patents, clearly showing where products are on- and off-patent, and when patents are due to expire. This can be achieved either through self-disclosure or through Pat-INFORMED, a platform to promote the accessibility of patent information for health agencies tasked with procurement of medicines.

Expand consideration of affordability across contraceptive products. Currently the company has equitable pricing strategies for two products in the scope of the Index. Recalling its 2012 commitment at the London Family Planning Summit, Bayer could apply equitable pricing strategies to more of its contraceptive products, including drosperinone/ethinylestradiol (Yasmin®), estradiol valerate/norethisterone enantate (Norigynon®), levonorgestrel (Microlut®) and levonorgestrel releasing intrauterine system (Mirena®) - all first line products on the 2017 WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (WHO EML).

Develop a process to establish more access plans for R&D projects. Bayer can develop a clear approach to establish access plans for R&D projects earlier in the development phase that take into account the specific considerations necessary for each project. It can develop this approach for both in-house and collaborative projects for all diseases in scope, with a clear timeline for developing, refining and executing access plans to ensure broad and rapid access.

Review incentives for sales agents. Bayer can improve its commitment to ensure responsible sales practices by decoupling sales incentives from sales targets. Removing an emphasis on sales targets is recognised as a mechanism for ensuring rational prescribing, and critical for a company like Bayer that produces antibiotics and other products which are often inappropriately used.

Change since 2016

  • Joined Access Accelerated with a pilot programme focused on deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in Ghana.
  • Partnered with Goodbye Malaria with commitments to expand access to WHO-recommended vector control products and to continuing to develop new vector control products to control and eliminate malaria.
  • Files to register the majority of its most recently approved products in the majority of corresponding priority countries.
  • Commits to expand its successful youth-centric health programmes under the umbrella of the World Contraception Day (WCD) and the associated “It’s Your Life – It’s Your Future” campaign.
  • Reports that it newly extends enforcement processes for its code of conduct to third parties.

Pipeline​ and Portfolio

for diseases and countries in scope


Comparatively small pipeline: 11 R&D projects for diseases in scope (10 medicines; 1 vector control product).
Clinical candidates: 9, including finerenone for the treatment of diabetic kidney disease and tedizolid (Sivextro®) for the treatment of pneumonia.
Regulatory approvals: 2, including copanlisib (Aliqopa™) for the treatment of follicular lymphoma.
R&D focus: non-communicable diseases (cancer) and neglected tropical diseases (Chagas disease).
Access provisions: for 3 projects, most commonly applied through access-oriented partnerships.


Comparatively small portfolio: 26 products for diseases in scope (13 medicines; 7 contraceptive methods; 6 vector control products).
Portfolio focus: maternal & neonatal health conditions (contraceptive methods), communicable diseases (malaria) and neglected tropical diseases (dengue and chikungunya).
Essential medicines: 90% of Bayer's medicines are currently listed on the 2017 WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (WHO EML).
First-line treatments: 95% of Bayer's medicines have first-line indications for diseases in scope.

Projects in the pipeline: 11*
Products on the market: 26
Projects for R&D priority targets with access provisions: 3
Essential medicines with first-line indications: 18

Business context

Four business units: Pharmaceuticals; Consumer Health; Crop Science; and Animal Health. Its pharmaceutical segment has five main therapeutic areas (cardiology, oncology, gynaecology, haematology and ophthalmology). 

M&A news: 2018 acquisition of Monsanto, an agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology company; divestment of the agricultural business assets to German company BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world. 

Presence in emerging markets: In 2018, Bayer reports sales in 70 countries in scope; 32 less than in the 2016 Index. It reports that more than one-third of its sales in 2017 came from Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Sales in countries in scope
Sales by geographic region

* Figure excludes one project that does not fall into the listed phases of development: e.g., technical lifecycle projects, diagnostics, platform technologies, vector control products, investigator sponsored trials and Phase IV projects.
** Neglected Tropical Diseases, while also communicable, are highlighted separately throughout the Index. See Appendix II.
*** See Appendix IV for definition.
† Data not comparable due to changes in company reporting practices.

Learn more

View our detailed overview of each company’s performance in the Index, including breakdowns of their product portfolios and R&D pipelines.

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