Category Archives: Premarin Horses

A look at a PMU farm in China — and it’s not all about Pfizer

Pfizer’s international market for Premarin is open game for competitors without the U. S. Food & Drug Administration’s protection of the company’s monopoly trade secret.

The key component for the production of Premarin is the estrogen rich urine collected from pregnant mares. This business has become commonly referred to as the pregnant mare’s urine or PMU industry.

In 2005, a Chinese company — Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. — was formed for the express purpose of creating a Chinese PMU industry based in northwest China’s Nilka County, located within the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Breeding of PMU mares and sales of pregnant mare’s urine has since become the “sunrise industry” for the regional rural farm economy, providing a significant increase in income for the farmers and incentive to expand production and number of horses.

Pfizer is stated to be the reason for establishing Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological, but the relationship described between the two companies is inconsistent.

On one hand, Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological’s founding purpose is to dominate Pfizer’s international Premarin market as a Chinese competitor, while on the other hand Pfizer is said to be the primary contractor for pregnant mare’s urine produced by the “sunrise industry” that Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological’s created, and which supplies Pfizer with the pregnant mare’s urine to manufacture the Premarin products.

Whatever the true circumstances are concerning Pfizer, the magnitude of gross cruelty to horses resulting from the creation of a domestic market in China for equine estrogen projects is in itself unthinkable.

Chinese version of Premarin cream.
Chinese version of Premarin cream.

The number of middle-age women in China presently within the target demography for estrogen products exceeds the total population of the rest of world.

The corresponding number of horses required to meet China’s domestic demand annually is greater than the the total number of horses used for Premarin production during the 75 years since FDA approval in 1942.

Here’s what a pregnant mare’s urine farm in Xinyuan County, China looks like.

PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).

PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).

This is only tip of the iceberg of what we will be bringing to your attention. The challenge has always been that the information we sought was quite naturally in Chinese. Now of course there are Chinese translation apps but as helpful as they are, they only get you so far.

We are working to find Chinese language translators with good English to help us not only with documentation but also to help us create alerts to the women in China through social media about the carcinogenic properties of drugs made with conjugated equine estrogens as declared by the World Health Organization. We are hopeful they will not be as blasé about it as American women seem to be. There are alternatives. Yet there may be a glimmer of hope on that horizon.

In the meantime, we have also received a tip that the bulk of PMU farms supplying Pfizer are actually in Latin America. Stay tuned.

Revenues from Premarin family of drugs falls 3% in 2016

by JANE ALLIN

With a fall in prescriptions and market growth, revenues of the Premarin family of drugs have fallen 3% in 2016.

So what does a 3% loss in the Premarin family of drugs represent?

In 2015, as well as several years previously, these drugs netted about a billion US dollars. The question now is whether this is significant.

Looking at the trend in sales figures since 2013 perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel for the horses, albeit a distant and perhaps faint hope. http://www.pfizer.com/system/files/presentation/2015_Pfizer_Financial_Report.pdf

There has been a steady decrease in sales between 2013 and 2015 and now revenues are down another 3% in the current year.

premarin-revenue-barchart-2013-2016

A 3% decrease in revenues from 2015 represents an estimated profit margin for the Premarin family of about 987 million USD for 2016. When compared to 2013 this is a decline of approximately 9.6% in revenues or in dollar amounts 105 million USD.

Of their total revenue (~ 49 billion USD in 2015) this may not seem like a lot but it is an encouraging trend that we hope means that both women and their physicians are paying heed to the dangers of equine-derived HRT and prescribing alternatives, despite Pfizer’s aggressive ads promoting it.

What we don’t know is how large the drop in prescriptions really is. The revenues we see are of course dependent on the price of these drugs. If the costs have increased this means that prescriptions have declined even more so relative to 2013. The alternative of lower pricing options makes it more difficult to assess.

The saving factor here may be that we all know that Big Pharma is a money-making machine and trimming profits are not in their best interest.

Whatever the case, let’s hope this trend continues.

Spread the word.


RELATED READING

Tuesday’s Horse

Alternatives to the Premarin Family of Drugs in the Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms »

Side Effects of Raising Awareness About the Premarin Family of Drugs and PMU Horses »

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Premarin Horses Fact Sheet »

PMU Horses win two awesome new friends

Jane Allin and I, together with you, have been championing the cause of PMU horses for over a decade.

PMU horses are mares kept continually pregnant in order to collect their estrogen rich urine to make drugs like Prempro, Premarin and Duavee for the easing of menopausal symptoms. A tragic offshoot of this process are of course the mares’ byproduct foals. As Allin points out:

    Sadly, foals born to these mares are usually worth less than the urine their mothers produce. They are considered to be nothing more than a living byproduct of Premarin. To the PMU farmers, they are often worth more dead than alive.

NEW FRIENDS

Joining us in the battle to save PMU horses are two awesome new friends.

Rebecca

First, there’s a lovely lady called Rebecca who has gone to live in China with her husband sent to work there by his company.

Rebecca has been looking for a way to help PMU horses in a really big way and now she has it. Not only is Rebecca a professional photographer used to covering very difficult assignments, but also very well versed on the issue.

Inspired by the work of Jane Allin who uncovered that there are PMU horses in China, Rebecca is determined to locate some of these farms and document them. She is donating 100% of her time and we are helping her with her expenses. We are moved by her generosity and courage.

We couldn’t be more delighted and grateful.

Dr. Greene

An eminent women’s health care physician contacted us and offered to help in any way he can.

In particular, he likes the way we are alerting doctors to the true potential and significant dangers to patients treated with Premarin, Prempro and Duavee. He is for educating them more than ever.

We pointed out that we still have doctors responding to our Dear Physician Letter arguing that conjugated estrogens (how they are listed on the label) are not necessarily dangerous.

We responded that the estrogens in question are conjugated equine estrogens, a known carcinogen as declared by the World Health Organization.

Some doctors are shocked. Some doctors continue to argue that we are wrong because the the word equine is nowhere on the label.

Indeed it is not.

We point out that the word “equine” was omitted from packaging years ago and the FDA has done nothing about it.

Dr. Greene concurs with our plan to press the FDA to make the labeling of drugs reflect the true nature of these drugs — that they are made with conjugated equine estrogens. But will they listen to us, or anybody else for that matter?

He has a plan.

Dr. Green is writing a paper on the dangers of conjugated equine estrogens and drugs associated with them. He will use his paper to rally doctors on his side to make a strong case to outlaw the use of this ingredient. Full stop.

He justly observes that drugs made with conjugated equine estrogens are outmoded, outdated, totally unnecessary and most importantly of all a great potential danger to the health, safety and welfare of women and horses.

As his own work on this issue unfolds, Dr. Greene supports our work – especially this golden opportunity to expose PMU farms in China.

He is therefore guaranteeing to match your donations dollar for dollar to our Premstoppers Campaign from now through Friday, May 13, 2016.

THANK YOU

To all of you who have followed and supported our activities to keep this issue alive, thank you. You have helped make sure these horses are not forgotten.

FROM OUR WEBSITE

Visit our Premstoppers page »

TUESDAY’S HORSE

Side effects of raising awareness about the Premarin family of drugs and PMU horses »

FDA approved alternatives to Premarin derivatives. Are they safer? »

Report Premarin Ads »

Side effects of raising awareness about the Premarin family of drugs and PMU horses

There have been significant side effects to the work we are doing on behalf of the horses affected by the making of the Premarin family of drugs — Premarin (cream and tablet), Prempro, Premphase and Duavee.

BILLBOARD

Remember our billboard campaign? It’s a simple one. It says, “Warning: Premarin Contains Horse Urine”.

We placed these warning billboards near women’s hospitals. Horse lovers leafleted and talked to thousands of women and medical staff about the making of Premarin and how it impacts the lives of the pregnant mares it uses and what happens to so many of their foals.

Staff from these medical centers began telling our volunteers how Premarin is used in ways other than for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. It is a long list but here are two such examples:

Premarin is given to patients prior to and post hysterectomy surgery. Another example is using Premarin in conjunction with surgical procedures for patients who are deemed at risk of hemorrhaging — Premarin clots the blood.

There are many more. We will cover that soon in a separate post. If you have encountered any please let us know.

Social media advocates contributed too. You helped by sharing our post about our billboard. It reached well beyond the 10K+ notification for Facebook alone.

See https://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/reach-thousands-save-thousands-with-premarin-billboards/

Image from PMU farm in Manitoba showing the collection bag used to collect the urine from pregnant mares used in the making of the Premarin family of drugs.
Image from PMU farm in Manitoba showing the collection bag used to collect the urine from pregnant mares used in the making of the Premarin family of drugs.

DEAR DOCTOR LETTER

Our Dear Doctor Letter has done more than just alert the medical personnel we sent it to. It has helped in all sorts of unforeseen ways.

For instance, we had physicians and even their family members contacting us telling us we were giving out misinformation concerning Premarin. They said that Premarin contained conjugated estrogens that were not dangerous. We stated that Premarin is made with conjugated equine estrogens – which are listed by the World Health Organization as known carcinogens – and the FDA allowed the producers of the Premarin family of drugs to omit the word “equine” some years ago.

A number of these doctors (or their relatives who called us to defend them) flat out refused to believe us, or so they said. Surely it’s not a big leap to see where the makers of these drugs got the name Premarin (Pregnant Mare’s Urine).

One doctor who at last acknowledged that the Premarin family of drugs are made with conjugated equine estrogens with the use of pregnant mare’s urine blurted out at the moment of awareness, “that means contain carcinogens and we shouldn’t be prescribing them”. He then concluded for himsef that in his mind at least there is no doubt to why these drugs no longer have the word equine in the labeling.

So what do we do with this information? We lobby the FDA to change the labeling to accurately reflect the drugs’ true nature. That is the plan. It is a steep mountain to climb but we are willing to climb it. But we may not be alone and will have some very important help. More on that later.

To those of who have sent this letter and to all the volunteers who printed and sent thousands more, we thank you.

Please continue to send this letter to your doctors particularly OB/GYNs. Print and mail or email as an attachment.
https://tuesdayshorse.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/dear_physician_ltr_cee_drugs_jan_2016.pdf

TELEVISION AND PRINT ADS

Thanks to your reporting, we have contacted television stations across the country for more than a year regarding the airing of Premarin cream commercials. They have, except in a few stubborn cases, either removed them and/or refused to renew them. We have also had a major impact regarding magazine and newspaper ads — print and online — via Twitter and Facebook.

This campaign, like so many, relies on the help of horse lovers like you. Congratulations on a job well done. Please continue to let us know when you see any type of ad for these products. We have a contact form here on Tuesday’s Horse specifically for this purpose. It’s in the dropdown box under Contact Us entitled Report Premarin Ads.

Rescued Premarin Foals. Image Vivian Grant Farrell.
Rescued Premarin Foals. Image Vivian Grant Farrell.

OUR MISSION CONTINUES

Our mission to help Premarin – or PMU – horses continues. The impact of the work we do is sometimes not immediately seen, difficult to sum up or give exact figures for. But what we are doing is having an effect.

Our campaigns have been so innovative and effective other groups and individuals have followed in our footsteps. The horses need us all.

We must continue our efforts for without us these horses have no hope, no voice and will continue to be subjected to the cruelties and death associated with the making of the Premarin family of drugs.

QUOTE

“Nothing has been, or ever will be, appealing or beneficial about the PMU industry and the Premarin family of drugs; they are clearly harbingers of death from both sides of the equation”.
– JANE ALLIN

RELATED READING

Premarin — The Drugs, the Women, the Horses
Alternatives
Reports