On Wednesday September 29, Judge Moran will hear all pending motions in a class action lawsuit against German drugmaker Bayer Pharmaceutical.

The suit, alleging consumer fraud, was first brought by Nellie J Martin of Granite City and Georgina Toothaker of Collinsville on July 15, 2004. It the fifteenth lawsuit filed against Bayer in Madison County since 2000.

Martin and Toothaker are represented by Byron, Gerber, Petri, & Kalb of Edwardsville, Bayer by Williams, Venker, & Sanders of St. Louis.

The plaintiffs allege that Bayer engaged in deceptive advertising, hiding possible side effects of Baycol so it could charge more for the drug.

Baycol was once used to lower cholesterol levels.

At the Federal Drug Administration's urging, Baycol was removed from the U.S. market in August 2001, two years after it was first introduced. Since, Bayer has reached settlements in more than 2,800 cases paying more than $1 billion to patients.

It still has more than 7,900 cases pending nationwide.

Baycol has been linked to about 100 deaths and a rare disease that leads to breakdown of muscle tissue. Neither plaintiff in this case is alleging physical harm, however.

Baycol was in a in a class of drugs called statins, which inhibit an enzyme in the liver that controls the rate of cholesterol released in the body. The most popular statins are Lipitor and Zocor.

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