BUCKPORT, Maine (The Elsworth American) — Earlier this month, a Texas couple moved to Silver Lake Road with a very large 5-year-old. His name is Butch, and he is a 2,700-pound Clydesdale horse, but don’t let the size scare you.
“You’ll see they are just very giant puppy dogs,” said David Doane, who takes care of Butch, six other horses, a mule and a cat along with his wife, Michelle Rhodes. The whole bunch moved to Bucksport from Texas earlier this month. “They would sit in your lap if they could figure out how to.”
Clydesdales are a large breed of horse used originally for pulling plows or hauling coal. Today the breed is famous for its appearance in Budweiser beer commercials, but it also plays a troubled role in the production of an estrogen-rich drug called Premarin, which is used to treat symptoms of menopause.
Premarin is made of the estrogen found in pregnant mare urine and, considering their size, Clydesdale mares produce a lot of urine. Several pharmaceutical companies put thousands of Clydesdale mares in pens, where they stayed for months at a time and urinated into bags. Once the mares delivered their foals, most of the foals were sold for slaughter, their meat shipped to consumers in Europe and Asia.
“It’s a nasty business,” Rhodes said. “They sell the babies to slaughter if people don’t adopt them.” Continue reading »
FEATURED IMAGE David Doane smiles at Butch, one of his and his wife Michelle Rhodes’ seven horses. The gang, which also includes one mule and one cat, moved to Bucksport from Texas earlier this month. The Elsworth American.
PHOTO BY DAVID ROZA.
In our mission to help horses and foals used and cast off by the pregnant mare’s urine industry that make drugs like Premarin cream and tablets, we urge women to shun them and the cruelty that goes with them, and find an alternative to ease menopausal symptoms.
Bio-identical hormones may be either from a natural source or synthetically made, and it’s more about the molecule being identical to the human molecule that our body normally makes, than whether it comes from a natural source.
With the exception of Premarin, which is extracted from the urine of pregnant mares, virtually all replacement and contraceptive hormones, in all forms, bio-identical or synthetic, are first extracted from soybeans or wild yams in a laboratory.
Those that are processed so that they exactly match the molecular structure of the hormones made by the human body have come to be called bio-identical, to distinguish them from synthetic hormones, which have a molecular structure that is not found in nature, and certainly not in the human body.
That Ms. Hopkins makes a distinction between Premarin® and other drugs used to treat menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms is an important one.
Some doctors are still telling patients that Premarin® drugs are no longer made with conjugated equine estrogens, but simply conjugated estrogens. These doctors are confused about this because that is how the FDA allows Pfizer to label these drugs on their packaging.
Conjugated estrogens can be made from plants.
Clearly. Premarin® drugs are made from pregnant mare’s urine and contain conjugated equine estrogens.
Beware. The World Health Organization has designated conjugated equine estrogens as known carcinogens.
RxList.com uses the phrase conjugated estrogens when referencing Premarin® drugs. However, if you look far enough on their website, you finally arrive at the drug’s description which makes the following statements:
Premarin® is a “mixture of conjugated estrogens purified from pregnant mares’ urine and consists of the sodium salts of water-soluble estrogen sulfates blended to represent the average composition of material derived from pregnant mares’ urine. It is a mixture of sodium estrone sulfate and sodium equilin sulfate. Seehttp://www.rxlist.com/premarin-drug.htm.
Is you scroll up just above “Drug Description”, there is grey box with a list of side effects. The title sums it up. In all caps, bold letters it says:
ENDOMETRIAL CANCER, CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS, BREAST CANCER AND PROBABLE DEMENTIA
Say No to Premarin® Drugs
Premarin® is prescribed in two forms — cream and tablet.
Premarin® is also used in others ways that you may never be made aware of, for example, during surgery to act as a coagulent in cases of heavy bleeding. Tell you doctor you wish never to be treated with any of the Premarin® family of drugs.
Premarin Horse Resources
As Jane Allin states, “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”.
AMAG Pharmaceuticals has big ambitions for its women’s health business, so it’s snapped up the rights to a new med, Intrarosa, to beef up that portfolio.
The company plans to tout Intrarosa’s safety profile to set it apart from established estrogen-based treatments such as Pfizer’s Premarin cream and Estring vaginal ring. The AMAG drug, which contains the hormone precursor prasterone, has a “similar efficacy profile,” CMO Julie Krop said this week. “[F]rom an efficacy standpoint, I don’t see that there is particularly differentiating advantage,” Krop said. “It’s really on the safety side”.
The company clearly sees big potential for Intrarosa. AMAG will pay Endoceutics $50 million up front, plus 600,000 shares of newly issued common stock, which closed Tuesday at $22.65. Follow-up sales milestones add up to $45 million if Intrarosa surpasses $300 million in sales over time.
AMAG says it’s adding those 150 reps to its current team of 100, who now focus on its preterm labor drug Makena and cord blood registry (CBR). For now, the new salespeople will exclusively handle Intrarosa, a non-estrogen treatment for vaginal pain during intercourse, which often affects post-menopausal women”.
Unlike conventional pharmacological estrogen-containing medications, Intrarosa does not carry a boxed safety warning in its label.
Intrarosa enters an existing billion dollar-plus market for intravaginal prescription therapies that treat VVA symptoms. There are an estimated 64 million post-menopausal women in the U.S., and as many as 32 million women suffer from VVA symptoms.
VVA, or vulvar and vaginal atrophy, causes pain during intercourse (dyspareunia), a common symptom of menopause”.
Jane Allin, horse advocate and expert on drugs made with pregnant mare’s urine such as Premarin® cream which is also prescribed for dyspareunia, states:
“This drug is a steroid — prasterone — of which estrogen is a metabolite so carries with it the same risks as other estrogen substitutes for Premarin® (i.e. the use of exogenous estrogen is contraindicated in women with a known or suspected history of breast cancer).
“So basically it’s just another form of estrogen that isn’t derived from horse pee. Safer but still has risks associated with estrogen.
“It would be nice if the pharmaceutical companies could come up with something that isn’t a steroid/estrogen. But that’s all they seem to know — and because it’s easy”.
Is this good news for the mares and foals used and cast off by the Premarin® industry?
“Intrarosa may cut into Pfizer’s Premarin® vaginal cream profits some but I doubt it will ever be enough that Pfizer would discontinue its sale”, states Vivian Farrell of The Horse Fund, “which is the only way the success of this new drug could help the horses used by the Premarin® industry in N. America.
“The popularity of Intrarosa may spare a few mares and foals along the way but it doesn’t appear it will spare women from the potential risk of breast cancer”.