Pharma giant says decision won’t affect its PMU ranchers
Alberta Farm Express reports:
Drugmaker Pfizer’s restructuring of its estrogen extraction plant at Brandon, Man[itoba] calls for about 40 per cent fewer employees by the end of next year.
The company processes conjugated estrogen from pregnant mares’ urine (PMU) at Brandon to make the hormone replacement therapy Premarin, used to treat menopausal symptoms in women.
Pfizer said Tuesday it plans to cut about 50 of 130 positions at the plant “gradually through to the end of 2013.”
This layoff will not affect PMU ranchers for now. Even if it did, do not be fooled. The Premarin horse issue is not dead. Far from it.
As Jane Allin of the Int’l Fund for Horses points out in her peerless article, “Pfizer consigns PMU horses to killing fields of Asia“:
If anyone believes that the downsizing of the PMU industry here in North America is advantageous for the mares and foals who suffer at the hands of Big Pharma, they are sadly mistaken”.
Sadly mistaken indeed.
Allin open our eyes further:
While it is true that immediately following the release of the WHI study, citing the horrors associated with CEE-derived HRT, there was a precipitous drop in sales of Premarin® and Prempro®, some of that market was reclaimed in time via reduced dosage recommendations, aggressive marketing strategies, price increases and the wide availability of these drugs without prescriptions through Internet sales.
What no one realized at the time was that Wyeth had probably begun to move their PMU facilities prior to or just after the damning results of the WHI were released to the public.
A simple Internet search shows that several pharmaceutical-based companies in mainland China and India produce bulk conjugated estrogens in powder form. Interestingly enough, or perhaps clearly enough, Wyeth/Pfizer is and has been a customer for several years. Whether their procurements are limited to conjugated estrogens is unknown. But really, who else would purchase these products in such quantities without a vested interest in them?
In fact, according to information we procured from an inside source from one such company, PMU farms have been in operation in Northern China for the last 8 years. The company’s manufacturing site is also in the same general location.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
— Say no if your doctor tries to prescribe Premarin and Prempro.
— Learn why we must end the use of pregnant mare’s urine in drugs.
— Find alternatives to Premarin.
— Share this with the women in your life.