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.

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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

Horse pee reduces breast cancer risk. Say what?

The undying pursuit of trying to find goodness in the devil incarnate

BY JANE ALLIN

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
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

Yet again another study attempting to promote the benefits of conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) derived HRT. Or should I use the “new” acronym – MHT – or menopausal hormone treatment?

No doubt more propaganda to distance the facts from the clever marketing strategies to further muddle the minds of middle-aged women.

A recent press release from Dr. Timothy Bilash of Solana Beach CA, who specializes in women’s health issues, encourages women of all ages to attend an informational talk regarding a study claiming that there is a reduced incidence of breast cancer while taking estrogen.

    “On Tuesday, June 25th at 7:00 p.m. (repeating on Saturday June 29th at 1:00 p.m.), Dr Tim Bilash, a Solana Beach OB/BYN will explain the DNA repair protein associated with BRCA-1 and its association with breast cancer. In addition, he will present the findings of a twelve-year follow-up from the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), reporting that women who take conjugated estrogens demonstrate a twenty-three percent reduction in breast cancer risk, and an astonishing sixty-three percent death-rate reduction among those who did develop breast cancer”.[1]

Astounding! What wonderful news.

The study Dr. Bilash is referring to appeared online in the journal Lancet Oncology in March of 2012 and was authored by Garnet L. Anderson PhD., “Conjugated equine oestrogen and breast cancer incidence and mortality in postmenopausal women with hysterectomy: extended follow-up of the Women’s Health Initiative randomised placebo-controlled trial.”[2]

Essentially, this was a follow-up study of the WHI detailing the results of 7,645 women, ages 50-79 without a family history of breast cancer, who had undergone a hysterectomy and were using estrogen-only HRT for menopausal symptoms. These women were part of the 11,000 original cohort of the estrogen-only branch of the WHI study that was aborted in 2004 due to increased risks of stroke and blood clots. In this new study the researchers followed these women for about five years after the trial ended in which about half had taken estrogen-only HRT and half a placebo.

The results of the study showed that 151 women who took estrogen-only HRT developed invasive breast cancer compared to 199 women who took a placebo while 6 women on the estrogen-only HRT died from breast cancer versus 16 who took a placebo.[3] Of note however is that women in the same group who were at higher risk of developing breast cancer as a result of behavioral, genetic or family history did not receive any cancer protection benefits from the estrogen-only HRT.[4] The therapy still poses a risk of stroke, blood-clotting disorders, dementia, gall-bladder disease, etc. and a host of other cancers particularly endometrial and uterine cancer for those women who have not undergone a hysterectomy.

Clearly there are still risks to be had, yet as expected these are understated and the new results applauded. Add to this the following comment from the authors that seems to suggest that for whatever reason the tide has turned in favor of hormone replacement therapy:

    “Concepts regarding menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer have undergone considerable change in the last decade.”[5]

Really?

If so, it is predominantly due to the premeditated manipulation and deceitful marketing strategies conceived by Wyeth, and now Pfizer, intended to quell the fears the WHI and other studies instilled in unsuspecting women. The product hasn’t changed, nor has the intent. Given the proven cause and effect relationship of conventional HRT therapy and the cornucopia of life-threatening diseases it is propaganda at its worst.

The question looms as to the validity of this study and any politics behind it if in fact any exist. There is nothing new about Big Pharma’s conspiracies and their ability to insert distorted information into so-called “scientific” medical journals and use them as marketing tools.

Simply recall the contract between Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and DesignWrite, a medical communications company, where articles were ghostwritten for top-tier medical journals with the intention of strengthening the sales of the Premarin family of HRT products.[6]

It should come as no surprise then that the funding for this research was provided by none other than Wyeth (now part of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.[7]

Coincidence?

After all, the patent for Premarin, the estrogen-only HRT used in the study, expired in February 2012 and the lawsuits are still ongoing. What could be better than some encouraging news for those women who are taking or planning to take Premarin for the relief of menopausal symptoms? Remember their mission. “We dedicate ourselves to humanity’s quest for longer, healthier, happier lives through innovation in pharmaceutical, consumer, and animal health products.” 

Hogwash. It’s all about the bottom line.

Researchers who participated in study had this to say:

    “Some previous studies have suggested that estrogen-only HRT increases the risk of breast cancer, but these studies were less rigorous in design than the new one.”[8]

What studies are they referring to? Are they trying to insinuate that the landmark WHI study, or others equally as reputable, somehow was flawed compared to theirs? Even if they are not including the WHI they are clearly proclaiming that the conclusions reached by the WHI are in error.

Let’s see how robust their study was:

  • All the women had a hysterectomy before joining the study
  • Half the women took estrogen-only, the other half a placebo
  • Neither the women or the doctors knew which women were taking the HRT and which were taking the placebo

OK so far – a double-blind placebo controlled study where the “blindness” ensures that the personal beliefs and expectations of either the researchers or the study subjects do not undermine the objectivity of the results.

  • After the study started, the women could stop taking the HRT or placebo whenever they wanted
  • On average the women took the HRT or placebo for less than 6 years with all or mostly all of the prescribed medicine for about 3.5 years
  • Many women took fewer doses than prescribed
  • Some women agreed to be followed for more time – half for 12 years and half for less.[9]

These last four bullets seem to indicate a total lack of control on the researcher’s part – more of a “soft science” area of statistics rather than a rigorous study with defined formal phases. Without all the women taking either the estrogen-HRT or placebos for the full length of the study or in lower dosages, particularly the HRT group, the study seems inherently flawed. As the famous saying goes: “There are three ways to not tell the truth: lies, damned lies and statistics”.

In any case, I don’t buy it, nor do others:

    “Other experts weren’t convinced. “It’s inconsistent with the totality of evidence that finds estrogen increases breast cancer risk,” said Valerie Beral, director of the cancer epidemiology unit at Oxford University. She said the analysis was a subset of a larger trial that wasn’t designed to specifically look at breast cancer. “If you want to take hormone replacement therapy, estrogen-only has a much lesser effect on breast cancer than with progestin,” she said. “But to say it protects against breast cancer is wrong.”[10]

While the interactions of HRT derived from CEEs and the female body may be complex, time and time again estrogen has always shown to fuel the growth of breast cancer cells. Is this some breakthrough in medical science or just some poorly designed experiment used as a marketing tool to promote a known carcinogen? When research is commissioned or funded by commercial interests – Wyeth/Pfizer in this case – this introduces another element of risk as to its scientific validity.

“To be scientifically proven” has enormous brand value. Where research funding comes from a source which can gain large financial benefit from the sales of the product or the idea or the intellectual property which results from the research then the risk that the “research results” are skewed or selectively published in favour of the funder’s interests is quite significant. The research results are now just a means of tapping into the brand value of being “scientifically proven”. The so-called science becomes nothing more than part of a marketing campaign”.[11]

Greed at its worst – Big Pharma strikes again.

Sadly, in the end Pfizer continues to profit from the suffering of the innocent mares and their foals. 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. The devil incarnate indeed.
__________
[1] http://www.pr.com/press-release/496372
[2] http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045%2812%2970075-X/abstract
[3] http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/07/estrogen-only-hormone-replacement-therapy-may-reduce-breast-cancer-risk/#ixzz2Vq6ZrN35
[4] http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/07/estrogen-only-hormone-replacement-therapy-may-reduce-breast-cancer-risk/#ixzz2Vq6Sjy7r
[5] http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/15/news/la-heb-hormone-therapy-20120315
[6] https://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/busted-wyeth-used-ghostwriters-to-place-over-40-%E2%80%9Cscientific%E2%80%9D-articles-in-medical-journals/
[7] http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/07/estrogen-only-hormone-replacement-therapy-may-reduce-breast-cancer-risk/#ixzz2Vq6ZrN35
[8] http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/07/estrogen-only-hormone-replacement-therapy-may-reduce-breast-cancer-risk/#ixzz2Vq6ZrN35
[9] http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/20120306
[10] http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120308/Estrogen-only-HRT-in-some-postmenopausal-women-could-lower-breast-cancer-risk-Study.aspx?page=2
[11] http://ktwop.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/when-science-becomes-a-marketing-tool/

Researched and Written by Jane Allin
© Int’l Fund for Horses

“We are not spiritually unconnected from the drugs we take, or the pain and suffering that goes into their making.”

~ Alice Walker

Expendable Flyer Say No to Premarin
Expendable Flyer Say No to Premarin

RELATED READING
Int’l Fund for Horses Website

Fact Sheet >>
Resources >>

WHAT YOU CAN DO

— Send the Int’l Fund for Horses “Dear Physician Letter” (3 pp, pdf) – with or without a personal cover letter from you – to any doctor who may prescribe this medication today.

The letter is researched, written and signed by us. All you need to do is print and mail. Thank you.

More posts on this topic >>

A Disturbing Trend in Pfizer’s Agenda

Written by JANE ALLIN
Research Analyst, Int’l Fund for Horses

(August 3, 2010) — The introduction of Aprela® looms ever closer in the EU and Japan. Viviant® (i.e. bazedoxifene), a SERM (selective estrogen receptive modulator) which is the post-menopausal osteoporosis component of Aprela® was approved by the European Commission under the name Conbriza in April of 2009 and just this past week Japan has followed suit.

See http://www.medconnect.com.sg/tabid/95/ct1/c4267/Pfizer-Obtains-Japanese-Approval-For-Osteoporosis-Drug-Viviant/Default.aspx.

It is only a matter of time before Aprela® will be available in these regions of the world.

Meanwhile, to Pfizer/Wyeth’s dismay, in North America the endorsement of Viviant® by the FDA has been postponed repeatedly due to complications of stroke and venous thrombotic events. Accordingly the delay to approval for Viviant® has had a significant unexpected effect for Aprela®, since it is a combination of bazedoxifene and conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs). Initially, the NDA (New Drug Application) filing timeline for Aprela® was the second half of 2008; currently this has been pushed out to 2010 however even this agenda is questionable given the issues associated with Viviant®.

Moreover, with the US FDA withdrawal of the NDA for Fablyn®, a SERM for the treatment of both osteoporosis and selected consequences of menopause, things are not looking favorable for the giant drug manufacturer in the North American market. In contrast, Fablyn® received approval from the European Commission in February 2009.

Coincidentally, the slaughter of horses and consumption of the tainted meat is commonplace in both the EU and Japan where it is considered a delicacy. Is the fact that there is much controversy over these topics and the current ban on horse slaughter in the US integral to these delays or is it simply wishful thinking.

Additionally, recall the recent announcement of the large reductions in PMU facilities in NA and rumors of PMU farms emerging in places consistent with general acceptance of horse slaughter such as China, Kazakistan and Poland. Today, August 3, Pfizer will discuss drug development, sales in developing markets and ongoing integration from its mega-acquisition of Wyeth when it reports second-quarter results before the stock market opens. Of particular note in relation to the PMU industry is their attention to increasing sales in emerging markets outside of the US.

Pfizer, a Dow component, likely will discuss its progress in increasing sales in emerging markets. Major drugmakers are counting on countries including Brazil, Russia, India and China bringing them much higher growth rates than the U.S. and Europe in the future……… Getting new drugs approved and boosting revenue outside core Western markets is crucial for Pfizer….. Over the past 18 months several promising experimental drugs, after years and tens of millions of dollars worth of testing, have failed just shy of the finish line due to limited effectiveness or safety problems.”

See http://www.sfexaminer.com/economy/99641144.html

Does this imply that Pfizer will progressively move the location of their PMU “factories” from NA to other parts of the world more accepting of the atrocities associated with the industry? Probably, given that the acquisition of Wyeth was motivated by their blockbuster Premarin® family of drugs together with the fact that Aprela® is expected to amass even more profits due to its osteoporosis claim to fame – a designer drug for the ageing population no less.

Equally disturbing is the quest to seek approval in these countries for drugs deemed risky or ineffective here in NA. Have they no respect whatsoever for human and animal life or are we all simply sacrificial lambs? In reality, there is nothing surprising when it comes to the devious ways of pharmaceutical companies and it seems that Pfizer is no better than Wyeth in terms of ethics and moral values – perversely diabolical.

In fact, to say Pfizer’s been accused of wrongdoing is like saying BP had an oil spill. Other drug companies have a portfolio of products, Pfizer has a portfolio of scandals including, but not limited to, Chantix, Lipitor, Viagra, Geodon, Trovan, Bextra, Celebrex, Lyrica, Zoloft, Halcion and drugs for osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, kidney transplants and leukemia.”

See http://pharmagossip.blogspot.com/2010/07/opednews-article-is-pfizer-bp-of-drug.html

That said, I doubt that there is any greater hope of influencing their agenda than it was for Wyeth when it comes to the use of CEEs in HRT; more insidiously they endeavor to hide it from our sight rather than ethically address the issues. Money at all costs – both cowardice and gluttony prevail.

PMU issues now transcend North America and we must act globally to eradicate this abhorrent industry to protect both horses and women alike. The movement of PMU farms away from NA and the expanded marketing of CEE-based HRT in emerging economies present a more formidable task for horse advocates than when concentrated in a central NA location where horse slaughter is condemned as barbaric. Cultural, political and legal disparities in these developing countries compared to our own will no doubt impede the efforts and milestones achieved to date.

Bio-identical Hormones Take Center Stage

On a more positive note, there seem to be bio-identical hormone clinics and specialty physicians cropping up all over the place. Dr. Tutera’ s practice is just one of several in the news.

On a more positive note, there seem to be bio-identical hormone clinics and specialty physicians cropping up all over the place. Dr. Tutera’ s practice is just one of several in the news.

“Dr. Gino Tutera recently opened a medical practice dedicated to the treatment of hormonal imbalance and well-being for the people of Nashville. Dr. Tutera saw an opportunity to give Nashvillians the same quality of care that he offers to his patients in his other locations around the US. His medical company, SottoPelle, offers a unique process that ensures all patients are treated as individuals and can regain their desired quality of life.”

[http://www.examiner.com/x-57653-Nashville-Longevity-Examiner~y2010m7d29-Nashville-Embraces-Pioneer-of-Hormone-Replacement-Therapy]

And for those who want up-to-date information, “Medical Mondays”, a video series conducted by bio-identical hormone experts is also available to both women and men who have specific questions related to BHRT.

Bioidentical Hormone Experts Blog Kicks-Off ‘Medical Mondays’ Video Series

Weekly Video Blog Postings Answers Questions on Bioidentical Hormones

BOCA RATON, Fla.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–When it comes to your health, it’s important to use a resource that you can trust. In a continued effort to provide information that is timely, relevant and accurate, the highly trained physicians at BioidenticalHormoneExperts.com (BHE) are kicking off a new video-based blog campaign, called “Medical Mondays.” The weekly blogging series, starting August 2, 2010, will offer women and men the opportunity to ask health related questions and have them answered in video format, recorded live by one of the bioidentical hormone expert physicians.

See http://eon.businesswire.com/portal/site/eon/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100801005028&newsLang=en