UPDATE. March 1, 2014. :: See Updated Letter to Pfizer
The Int’l Fund for Horses call on pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to find an alternative to the Premarin family of drugs. Premarin, Prempro and the anticipated “new” drug Aprela, manufactured with the estrogen rich urine of pregnant mares, or conjugated equine estrogen.
In a letter to Pfizer, the Int’l Fund for Horses states:
In these days of cutting-edge genetic and bio-engineering, we question whether the use of pregnant mares’ urine (PMU) is a genuine necessity.
As you can appreciate, the use of CEEs in the treatment of menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis is controversial and subject to criticism from a health perspective. Yet Pfizer continues to market these drugs despite the fact that CEE-derived medications such as Premarin® and Prempro® are listed as “known human carcinogens” by the National Toxicology Program as well as the World Health Organization.
At the same time the recent announcement to seek U.S. regulatory approval for the combined menopausal-osteoporosis drug Aprela® is a clear indication that Pfizer will continue its crusade without sufficient studies to validate this drug’s efficacy from a safety aspect. This is most unsettling particularly since the osteoporosis component – bazedoxifene – has yet to receive FDA approval.
Taken from the same letter, we believe the way of the future for Pfizer is this:
Given the great achievements the pharmaceutical industry has realized over the last few decades, we wonder why an industry giant such as Pfizer, self-described as “the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company”, is not using the most innovative and state-of-the-art methodology in developing safer and more effective drugs, but instead persists with decades-old technology that relies on the increasingly unpopular and detrimental use of animals.
We develop the idea above further, and end our letter thus:
Clearly our motive is to end the use of pregnant mare’s urine in drugs and the cruelties we perceive inherent to it. This communication is not intended to open a debate on that issue, but instead to invite you to eliminate the use of CEEs in the production of your pharmaceuticals, and replace it with an innovative technology. This would surely satisfy not only our purposes, but also yours with the benefit of drug efficacy and safety for those who choose to use them.
Although the letter to Pfizer from the Int’l Fund for Horses goes out under my signature, it was researched and written by Jane Allin, who has dedicated a large amount of time, energy and creative thinking on this issue, and how we may solve it, not just for the horses but also for the people who take these drugs. Jane is a great champion for horses, and we all owe her a great deal of gratitude.
Read our letter in full (pdf, 2 pp):
WHAT YOU CAN DO