The claim that the Premarin family of drugs have carcinogenic properties is not news.
However a class action lawsuit is pending in Canada that has the potential of proving this to be true in a high number of cases, revealing important facts and figures previously uncovered.
Pfizer are maintaining of course that these drugs do not cause cancer if taken as directed. But that statement concerns the drugs as they are sold today.
Mary Ormsby, reporting for The Toronto Star, writes:
- Popular menopause drugs made in part from estrogen found in the urine of pregnant horses have caused breast cancer in thousands of Canadian women, according to allegations in a new report by the Canadian Cancer Society’s top epidemiologist.
- “The body of evidence to date overwhelmingly points to a causal connection between the use of Premplus and the development of invasive breast cancer in women,” the society’s Prithwish De wrote in a report to be filed in a Canadian class-action lawsuit against drug manufacturer Wyeth Canada, now owned by Pfizer.
- The drug manufacturer states that its products are “safe and effective when used as directed” and they do not cause breast cancer. A trial date is set for October in a Vancouver court.
- According to the report, hormone replacement therapy was the main risk factor in an estimated 12,000 new Canadian breast cancer cases detected between 1994 and 2006 at a time when Wyeth’s products, Premarin and Premplus, dominated the market. The drugs remain on the market, but in more recent years they have contained strong warnings and are also prescribed in lower doses.
As in previous class action lawsuits Pfizer (and before that Wyeth) have been able to settle these types of cases, reportedly hand out millions of dollars and get sealed Judgments so that the details are not available for public consumption.
What boggles the mind is why Pfizer persist with these drugs made from the urine of pregnant mares. Yes there is the first obvious reaction — the sales of the Premarin family of drugs makes the pharma giant billions of dollars.
But Pfizer (and previously Wyeth) have had decades to replace these troublesome menopausal drugs and find a safer one that does not use animal waste.
Litigation is an ongoing problem for Pfizer.
- Today, Pfizer operates in 180 countries and employs more than 110,600 people worldwide, with revenue topping $65 billion in 2011. It operates in five areas: Primary Care; Specialty Care and Oncology; Established Products and Emerging Markets; Animal Health; and Consumer Health Care and Nutrition.
- But the company has had more than its share of controversy, including four settlements over charges of illegal marketing in the last decade alone – one totaling $2.3 billion – and countless personal injury lawsuits. Pfizer’s portfolio of problem drugs includes Zithromax, Chantix, Lipitor, Geodon, Trovan, Bextra, Celebrex, Lyrica, Effexor and Zoloft.
Hmm, how interesting they do not mention any of the Premarin family of drugs as a problem drug. Why is that?
Well, they are problem drugs in our estimation.
For women, yes, but for our purposes it is a huge problem involving the abuse and deaths of the mares and foals used.
Mares are kept constantly pregnant until they can get pregnant no more, cast off and replaced, standing for hours, day after day in narrow stalls, so that every last drop can be captured. Then there are the byproduct foals. A small percentage may find homes but many are cast off like their worn out mothers, often meeting a brutal and tragic end.