The PMU Industry: 2010 Year in Review

Written by JANE ALLIN
Chief Research Analyst

Pfizer Headquarters in New York (Photo by HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Pharmaceutical Giant Pfizer Headquarters in New York (Photo by HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

Introduction

With the merger of Pfizer and Wyeth in 2009 a prelude of optimistic hope to end the suffering of the pregnant mares and their foals of the PMU (Pregnant Mare’s Urine) industry quickly sputtered to a stall.

In its infancy, it was soon apparent that Pfizer would go to any extreme to defend its custody of the lucrative HRT market.

That trend was unremitting throughout 2010 and carried with it the abysmal recognition that the world had inherited an even greater evil with the Pfizer/Wyeth union.

Lawsuits

Since 1976, Wyeth (now a Division of Pfizer) has been fighting on-going lawsuits related to the use of their Premarin® family of drugs. The year 2010 was no different wherein a glut of lawsuits over Prempro® continues as a consequence of poor science and deceitful practices by Big Pharma.

In December 2009, the New York Times ran an extensive piece entitled “Menopause, as Brought to You by Big Pharma” implicating Wyeth in devising an intricate and deceptive strategy over several decades which convinced the medical profession and patients alike that their HRT derived from conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs) provided unmitigated health benefits, while deflecting attention from the risks of cancer.

In response to the New York Times article, Pfizer issued a news release affirming confidence in its hormone therapy drugs. In spite of their said confidence, Pfizer then filed a motion with a Philadelphia court seeking to curtail publicity surrounding these cases. In particular, Pfizer Inc. asked a judge in Philadelphia to order the removal of an Internet video about its menopause medicines that the company says is misleading and aimed at swaying potential jurors in future trials over the pills.
Enough said.

Although Pfizer was victorious in a number of the on-going cases during 2010, the drug maker has suffered numerous major losses at trial, which have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages after several juries concluded that their Wyeth subsidiary endeavored to downplay the risks associated with the medication.

Currently there are about 9,000 lawsuits over Prempro® pending against Pfizer’s Wyeth unit. All of the lawsuits claim that the drug caused plaintiffs to develop breast cancer, and that Wyeth failed to warn patients and doctors of the potential side effects of the hormone therapy derived from conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs) and progestin.

Terminology Changes

Consider yet again another deceptive marketing tactic that surfaced this year. In some inexplicable development the term “menopausal hormone therapy” (MHT) is now in use as a replacement for the old acronym HRT. Why? Perhaps because the association of HRT with cancer, cardiovascular and other life-threatening risks is so entrenched in women’s minds this new abbreviation will pave the way for a fresh venue in distributing yet more propaganda.

Changing the term will not change the statistics. Simply put, conventional HRT manufactured from conjugated equine estrogens is hazardous to your health and a known carcinogen. HRT is so enveloped in an illusion of benefit as a preventative medicine, Big Pharma and its followers have embellished its attributes beyond its merit to the point of absurdity.

Premarin Foal
For every 150 women who stop taking Premarin, one mare is spared from the “pee line” and seven or eight “byproduct” foals will not be slaughtered for their meat.

PMU Farming Facilities

In May of 2010, seemingly good news came out of the PMU industry. Giant drug manufacturer Wyeth, a division of Pfizer, announced their intention of downsizing the industry through the cancellation of PMU ranch contracts that would see their numbers dwindle from 64 to as few as 25.

Well, that flicker of light at the end of the tunnel for the pregnant mares and their foals came to a thundering crash with the news posted in an article from The Western Producer entitled ”Horse sense requires tough decisions”.

It seems Pfizer/Wyeth strategy had nothing to do with accountability in pursuit of alternatives that would be safer and more humane.

They merely decided to reposition the PMU industry in foreign countries such as China, Kazakhstan and Poland – countries where horses are likened to livestock and the acceptance of horse slaughter and human consumption of horse and foal meat is commonplace.

cont’d next

7 thoughts on “The PMU Industry: 2010 Year in Review”

    1. To answer all of your questions:

      1. Probably, along with all the unborn foals. Disgusting industry.
      2. Yes, those horses in foreign countries will suffer a lot more than the NA mares and there is a market for horse meat, especially foals. And if you will; equate that to veal, yet another horrible industry.
      3. There is a wealth of alternatives. So yes.

      Cruelty must be whitewashed by a moral excuse, and pretense of reluctance. ~George Bernard Shaw

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    2. Puller – just about anything would be (less expensive) in terms of money spent & lives destroyed – mares and women alike.
      I am of an age where all my friends & I have gone through or are going through the Change. While some of the physical manifestations are a mystery (I hope to ask the Creator, respectfully, um, why???) none of us has experienced anything that would justify poisoning ourselves to get over it. All of us – some smokers, some carnivores, some overweight and with other health issues not related to the Change – have healthy hearts and lungs, marginal cholesteral issues and we are a happy, happy crew (that cry at a moment’s notice, but what the heck?).
      We can’t possibly be the only women out there NOT dying from the symptoms of menopause.
      Dry skin? Moisturizer.
      Bone loss? Calcium supplements.
      Night sweats? Air conditioner.
      Emotional instability? Understanding husbands, who may have been previous victims of PMS. And daily thiamine supplements.
      And a host of low-cost, old-school pulled-from-the-Earth goodies not recognized by the Powers that Be as ‘therapeutics’ (that, in itself, is the best reason to utilize herbals and such).
      My mother-in-law, the Wise Sage matriarch in her healthy 70’s, with tips and advice, paving the way with her experiences. Everyone should have an old person in their armory; their therapies are not to be missed.
      And my friends and I, we tell our daughters, hopefully putting a big fat ding in pharmaceutical profits. And maybe, one more mare and her infant are spared.

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  1. So all of those PMU mares and foals will go directly to Canadian slaughterhouses with the bottom falling out of the market?

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  2. So true, Lisa. Where on earth did men get the idea they could do this to females, human and equine alike? And who can stop them? We’ve allowed them to take control of government, companies, nations … and corruption follows in their wake. Unthinking and unfeeling laws are allowing our planet and the living things on it to be destroyed.

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  3. I have to wonder – if captive Stallion urine were synthesized into a hormone replacement therapy for male menopause such as erectile dysfunction, to curb baldness, osteoporosis, macular degeneration AND fellas knew of it’s origins AND the unfortunate side affects were testicular cancer, prostate cancer, peripheral artery disease, breast cancer, arteriosclerotic heart disease, deep vein thrombosis – would suspending production of a noxious potion like that even BE an issue for consumer & producer alike.
    The short answer: HELL no.
    BLAST these morally-bereft fools for treating the women on my planet like lab experiments and for the unmitigated cruelty perpetuated in the pursuit of the almighty buck – and, further, for convincing women that a simple & natural biological process is a terminal illness.
    (Arghh, swear, swear, sputtersputtersputter…)

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