Premarin Timeline 2011

Pfizer/Wyeth continues to promote the use of their controversial Premarin® family of drugs.

According to the new theory developed as a result of Wyeth-linked research, women shouldn’t take less hormones but rather more and start taking them at an earlier age. Unfortunately for Pfizer past research found that women with the greatest risk of breast cancer from hormones are those who took them the earliest — before or soon after menopause. In other words, women who observed the timing theory. Oops.

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals sponsors a teleconference on solutions to the “unwanted horse” problem featuring Tom Lenz following the release of the GAO slaughter report. Lenz is the Senior Director, Equine Veterinary Services, at Pfizer Animal Health and acknowledged pro-horse slaughter advocate.

Pfizer’s affiliation with the most powerful equine organizations in North America leverages their position in terms of horse slaughter and the “unwanted horse’ – a “humane” alternative by their standards.

Pfizer logo against blue sky.
Pfizer logo.

Pfizer continues to be at the center of the slaughter debate through its on-going sponsorship of pro-slaughter organizations such as the AQHA, AAEP, AVMA, UHC, UOH, NAERIC and AHC to name a few.

An extended WHI study carried out at the University of Buffalo shows that conjugated equine estrogen based HRT interferes with the detection of breast cancer leading to cancers being diagnosed at a more advanced stage and tended to have more involvement with the lymph nodes which generally indicates a poorer prognosis. Not only were the women taking the combination of estrogen and progestin more likely to die from breast cancer, but they were also more likely to die from other causes than women who did not take the hormones.

The Buffalo study also found that estrogen therapy is associated with a significant increase in risk of kidney stones regardless of age, ethnicity, body mass index, prior hormone therapy use, or use of coffee or thiazide diuretics.

As of December 31, 2011, Pfizer and its affiliated companies had settled, or entered into definitive agreements or agreements−in−principle to settle, approximately 52% of the hormone−replacement therapy actions pending against them and affiliated companies.

Recorded aggregate charges with respect to these actions were $336 million in 2011 and $300 million in prior years. In addition, Pfizer recorded a charge of $359 million in 2011 that provides for the minimum expected costs to resolve all remaining hormone−replacement therapy actions.

January: A Puerto Rican jury has awarded $1.5 million in compensation to a woman who claimed that she developed breast cancer from Prempro® HRT.

February: A Pennsylvania appeals court has upheld a jury award of more than $10 million in a Prempro® breast cancer lawsuit, reversing a lower court’s ruling that overturned the award of compensatory and punitive damages in the case.

June: Pfizer will have to pay $58 million to three women who previously won a Prempro® breast cancer lawsuit against the company’s Wyeth unit, after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to entertain an appeal by the company.

October: About 150 HRT lawsuits pending in New Jersey state court may be in jeopardy after an appeals court upheld the dismissal of claims that the manufacturers of Prempro®, Provera® and Premarin® failed to adequately warn consumers about the risk of breast cancer and misled federal regulators

December: A Philadelphia jury hit Pfizer with a $72.6 million verdict in a Prempro® lawsuit brought by three women who alleged that they developed breast cancer after taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs. In addition to the compensatory damages award, Pfizer could face punitive damages of many times that amount depending on the further deliberations of the jury.

The FDA has yet to approve Aprela® or Viviant® (i.e. bazedoxifene) although the approval and sales of bazedoxifene under different trade names is advancing rapidly in other parts of the world.

There is still speculation as to the downsizing of the PMU farms in North America and Pfizer/Wyeth’s ability to produce adequate quantities of pregnant mare’s urine necessary for current and projected sales of the Premarin® family of drugs. Relocation of these facilities to other parts of the world such as China for example seems a plausible and valid assumption.

THE HORSES

Premarin, Prempro, Premphase and Duavee are examples of the Premarin family of drugs which are made with the the estrogen rich urine of pregnant mares.

In the ‘pregnant mare urine’ (PMU) industry, horses are repeatedly impregnated so their urine can be collected and made into hormone replacement products . Some of the foals are rescued , but most are simply slaughtered and seen as a byproduct (much like male calves in the dairy industry).

There are alternatives. Talk to your doctor. Visit your local pharmacy. There are prescription free over-the-counter treatments for hot flashes, vaginal dryness and other menopausal symptoms. Thank you.


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