We are not spiritually unconnected from the drugs we take, or from the pain and suffering that goes into their making.”
— Alice Walker
“We crush ’em and recycle ’em . . . just like aluminum cans.”
— Pat Houde, equine feed lot manager, regarding Premarin foals and mares
The Int’l Fund for Horses is working to end the use of medications derived from conjugated equine estrogen (CEE), or pregnant mare’s urine.
Mares, foals and women are all at risk. The mares and foals cannot speak for themselves, but women can, and should, for the horses and for themselves.
We ask that women please prepare the following letter and send it to their physicians.
If you are a woman not experiencing menopausal symptoms, please edit the letter to fit your circumstances (omit the last paragraph and end with a thank you).
Both men and women should share this with the horse lovers and women in their lives.
Thank you for getting involved!
PATIENT TO DOCTOR LETTER RE PREMARIN FAMILY OF DRUGS
— Download Word Document of Letter Here
Dr. [Insert Name]
[Insert City, State, Zip]
Dear Dr. [Insert Name]
Re: Hormone Replacement Therapy Drugs for Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms
Premarin®, Prempro® and Aprela (awaiting approval)
Please Refuse to Prescribe these Drugs
As a concerned and knowledgeable patient regarding the use of the conjugated equine estrogen produced drugs Premarin® and Prempro®, I encourage you to stop prescribing these medications for relief of menopausal symptoms. Premarin® and other such HRT compounds are derived from the high concentration of estrogen in pregnant mare’s urine (PMU). Not only is the collection practice inhumane but the risks imparted by these drugs to unsuspecting women are objectionable and unnecessary. Many believe that the risks far outweigh any benefits offered given that these particular medications are recognized by the United Nations as potent carcinogens.
Life for PMU mares is merciless; repeatedly impregnated for up to as many as 20 years, they spend 6 months of their 11-month pregnancy confined to stalls so small they have difficulty turning around or lying down. During this time, they are permanently connected to cumbersome rubber urine collection bags that chafe their flanks, cause infections and severely limit movement. Water intake is routinely restricted to concentrate the amount of estrogen in their urine causing life-threatening renal and liver problems. Equally disturbing is the fate of the foals – the “by-products” of the industry. Most are sold at auction to “kill buyers” and ultimately end up at the slaughterhouse.
Nationwide studies (e.g. NIH’s Women’s Health Initiative) have been published that clearly corroborate the link between HRT, cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia. Women who take these drugs face significantly increased risks of: invasive breast cancer (26%), heart disease (29%), strokes (41%), blood clots to the lungs and legs (50%), ovarian cancer (60%), impaired cognitive function, dementia and Alzheimer’s, asthma, lung cancer, malignant melanoma, and reduced insulin resistance, among others. Most importantly, when these medications are stopped, a woman’s risk returns to the same level as those who have never used these therapies.
Noteworthy are the on-going lawsuits against Wyeth (now a Division of Pfizer), the manufacturer of the Premarin® family of drugs. Juries and Judges alike have shown that Wyeth failed to adequately warn consumers about the risks associated with these drugs and that they purposefully hid the risk of breast cancer and other diseases. Moreover, evidence has confirmed that Wyeth employed ghostwriters to write medical reports related to HRT and paid physicians to sign off as the authors. Not only did the articles overstate the benefits of HRT, but they diminished the serious risks associated with the drugs.
I believe there are safer and more humane alternatives available. However, as always, before trying these alternative remedies, I would like to discuss these options with you.
[Insert Patient Name]
[Insert Patient Ref Id# if applicable]
[Insert Patient Address]
[Insert Patient City, State, Zip]
[Insert Patient Telephone No.]
ALTERNATIVES TO PREMARIN AND PREMPRO
— Download Word Document of Alternatives Here
For more information on the PMU industry, please read the iFH Fact Sheet >>
Read articles about Premarin and the horses on Tuesday’s Horse >>
Thank you, Jane, for your stellar work and leading our Team in this effort.