Prempro Cancer Lawsuit Ends in Defense Verdict

A Philadelphia jury ruled in favor of Pfizer, Inc. and its Wyeth unit in a Prempro lawsuit, finding that the drug maker’s hormone replacement therapy (HRT) did not cause two women who brought the case to develop breast cancer.  

The jury deliberated for about four hours before handing down the defense verdict Wednesday in a Prempro cancer suit brought by Sharon Buxley, 66, and Joy Henry, 75.

The Pfizer victory is only the second victory for the drug maker out of the last six Prempro trials, all of which have been held in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Other juries in that court have hit Pfizer with compensatory and punitive damages of more than $100 million in two earlier cases alone.

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Prempro is an HRT that contains a combination of the drugs Provera and Premarin. The drug was originally developed by Wyeth, which was acquired by Pfizer last year. HRTs use hormones and progestins to artificially boost hormone levels in women undergoing menopause due to surgery or in postmenopausal women, to provide relief from symptoms such as hot flashes, irregular menstruation or weight gain.

In 2002 the National Institutes of Health released the results of studies that found women receiving HRT were at higher risk of breast cancer, strokes and heart attacks. The studies, part of the Women’s Health Initiative, sparked most of the hormone replacement therapy breast cancer lawsuits currently pending throughout the country.

There are about 9,000 Prempro lawsuits pending against Pfizer’s Wyeth unit by women who claim that they developed breast cancer from the hormone replacement therapy. The cases allege that the drug maker intentionally hid the risk of breast cancer from women. As a result of Wyeth’s conduct, punitive damages have been awarded in several cases where juries saw the drug maker’s behavior as reckless disregard for the risk of injury to consumers.


  • MadeleneSeptember 12, 2010 at 12:20 am

    After the results of the study done in 2002 I don't understand how this Prempro lawsuit ends in defense veredict, why they lower the dose and the time the women should take Prempro now? The reason is very evident, because they could have breast cancer if they take a higher dose for long time.

  • MarySeptember 12, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I don't understand the reason why some cases win and anothers lost if all those women had breast cancer after taking Prempo.

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