Prempro Lawsuit Jury Finds Wyeth Hid Breast Cancer Risk

In the second phase of a trial against Wyeth over their hormone replacement therapy (HRT) Prempro, a Philadelphia jury has determined that Wyeth purposefully hid the risk of breast cancer and awarded the plaintiff punitive damages in addition to the $3.7 million in damages awarded last month. The amount of the punitive damages award has been sealed pending the outcome of another Prempro trial that is already underway in the same courthouse.

The verdict came in a Prempro lawsuit filed on behalf of 64-year old Connie Barton, who was diagnosed with breast cancer after taking the drug for five years to treat menopause symptoms. In the first phase of the trial, the jury found that Barton’s breast cancer was caused by side effects of Prempro and determined that she should be awarded $3.7 million in damages.

In the second phase of the trial, the jury considered whether Wyeth was responsible for those damages and whether their conduct was so bad that punitive damages should be awarded as punishment. According to Bloomberg News, the jury only deliberated for 25 minutes before ordering Wyeth to pay the compensatory damages of $3.7 million and a punitive damages award that was immediately sealed by the court.

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Barton’s case is one of about 9,000 Prempro lawsuits pending against Wyeth that allege the company failed to adequately warn about the risk of invasive breast cancer from hormone replacement therapies, and intentionally hid the cancer risk from women.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) involves the use of 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 that 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 breast cancer lawsuits currently against the company.

Wyeth’s Prempro and its other major HRT drug, Premarin, have been used by at least 6 million women worldwide. Last year, Prempro generated more than $1 billion in sales.

15 Comments

  • carolDecember 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    i was on prempro for about 3 years before it was taken off the market. i did not want to take anything because i was already 57 yrs of age and did not feel like i needed anything and doing real good. no illnesses all my life. i go to the dr for a yearly every year since age 20. the dr said it is better to take this prempro than not. so it took me about a month before i would take it and then final[Show More]i was on prempro for about 3 years before it was taken off the market. i did not want to take anything because i was already 57 yrs of age and did not feel like i needed anything and doing real good. no illnesses all my life. i go to the dr for a yearly every year since age 20. the dr said it is better to take this prempro than not. so it took me about a month before i would take it and then finally started and 3 yrs later they came out with all this information and took it off the market. in 2008 i was diagnosed with breast cancer, ovarian caner and endomintial cancer. i had surgery to remove all my ovaries, both breasts and remove a tumor that had in a matter of two months was 95 lbs in my stomach. i am now on arimidex. i also was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes which never had a problem before. i am thanks to the Lord and the doctors I have hanging in there. My uterine cancer came back after two years but it does not metasis so the dr just removes it. someone was telling me there is a lawsuit against the drug company how do i find out about this.

  • AnitaDecember 7, 2011 at 5:04 am

    I was diagnosed 2011 with stage 3 it was so bad friday i saw a surgeon and that following week tuesday had a left breast mastectomy and 9 out of twelve lypnods removed 8mo chemo and radiation and now arimidex was on prempro premiran 10 yyears

  • judyFebruary 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I was on prempro for over 6 yrs. and now have stage 3 breast cancer and am going through adjutant chemo. for 8 mths. Then surgery and radiation. I'm so weak now, I can't imagine having surgery.

  • LoisJanuary 3, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I was placed on Prempro for 10 years to lessen th e possibility of osteoporosis and cardiac disease which are prevelant in my family history. In 2003 I developed ductal carcinoma of the left breast--stage II A At that time, I stopped taking the prempro immediately, underwent a lumpectomy, followed by six rounds of chemo lasting 3 months then 24 rounds of radiation over a 6 week period followed b[Show More]I was placed on Prempro for 10 years to lessen th e possibility of osteoporosis and cardiac disease which are prevelant in my family history. In 2003 I developed ductal carcinoma of the left breast--stage II A At that time, I stopped taking the prempro immediately, underwent a lumpectomy, followed by six rounds of chemo lasting 3 months then 24 rounds of radiation over a 6 week period followed by hormone suppresent Arimidex which I still take and will need to be on this med the rest of my life,

  • EUGENEOctober 7, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    My wife was recently diagnosed with breast cancer in her right breast. This occurred after taking Prempro for ten years. She stop taking it in 2006  under her doctors order. It should be noted that she saw the same doctor for the ten year period in question. The last mammogram on her right breast prior to the one in August of 2010, was done to the best of her recollection in either 2009 or 2008. W[Show More]My wife was recently diagnosed with breast cancer in her right breast. This occurred after taking Prempro for ten years. She stop taking it in 2006  under her doctors order. It should be noted that she saw the same doctor for the ten year period in question. The last mammogram on her right breast prior to the one in August of 2010, was done to the best of her recollection in either 2009 or 2008. We would have to research this to obtain the exact date of the last mammogram on her right breast prior to August 2010. The radiologist was more concerned about activity in the left breast and did not always do a mammogram on the right breast when looking at the left breast. Is this background information sufficient to pursue legal action?

  • ElizabethJuly 25, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    In, 1990, I was prescribed prempro,upon reaching menapause at 51 years of age. In November 2005, att age 65, after 15 years of taking prempro, I was diagnosed with right and left cancer of the breasts. I had a right breast masectomy and a left breast lumpectomy. I read on-line, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2008 ruled that the statue of limitations does not apply to prempro cases.

  • MarieJune 17, 2010 at 1:47 am

    I am a survivor of breast cancer...diagnosed after taking prempro 1997. Life changing experience. Why cant I be rewarded for what I went trrough and will go through for the rest of my life.

  • GladysMay 4, 2010 at 5:10 am

    After I was on Prempro for 7-8 years I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy on December 2000, I was a healthy and happy woman until this HRT drug destroyed my life, I have a lawsuit against Wyeth, but this company deny their responsability, I think they have to pay for all the suffering and deaths they caused to too many women.

  • LouisaApril 1, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I was put on HRT Premarin after my hysterectomy. I asked my doctor "What if I get breast cancer"? She then said that I would be on the lowest dosage and that I wouldn't get cancer.But I got breast cancer. But had I known it was made from pregnant horses urine I wouldn't have taken it. The big drug companies know that human and animals are different. But all they are concerned is about the money. I[Show More]I was put on HRT Premarin after my hysterectomy. I asked my doctor "What if I get breast cancer"? She then said that I would be on the lowest dosage and that I wouldn't get cancer.But I got breast cancer. But had I known it was made from pregnant horses urine I wouldn't have taken it. The big drug companies know that human and animals are different. But all they are concerned is about the money. I'll bet they don't put their wives,girlfriends,sisters on these drugs. They need to take these drugs themselves. When they face God at the end they'll have their day. He will take care of them.

  • GildaFebruary 17, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I would like to find out about a class action suit also against Wyeth in 2002 and I was put on Premarin in Australia and since taking the drug I have been diagnosed with diabetes 2 have high blood pressure and also have lumps in the breast which have to be montiored very closely.I now live in the USA.

  • robertFebruary 1, 2010 at 2:51 am

    I understand that there is a class action suit against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals regarding the drug, Permax. Where is it taking place; in what jurisdiction; which Judge; what are the law firms involved?

  • shirleyJanuary 18, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I was diagnosed with breast Cancer inf my left breast in 1998 following the use of PremPro for two years. I had adjunct therapy of Chemo; radiation and five years of tomoxifin. Am I banned from legal action due to the Statue of limitations?

  • MARTHANovember 30, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    i was in a study sponsered by wyeth for 2 yrs fron 1998 to 2000. iwas given prempro . the purpose of the study was to determine if hrt prevented osteoporois. after the study the dr. prescribed the same drug until i was diagnosed with estrogen sensitive ductile cancer in my left breast. i had a mastectomy and reconstruction feb.2002. i had a reaccurance in the same breast in feb. 2004. i had radiat[Show More]i was in a study sponsered by wyeth for 2 yrs fron 1998 to 2000. iwas given prempro . the purpose of the study was to determine if hrt prevented osteoporois. after the study the dr. prescribed the same drug until i was diagnosed with estrogen sensitive ductile cancer in my left breast. i had a mastectomy and reconstruction feb.2002. i had a reaccurance in the same breast in feb. 2004. i had radiation[33 treatments]. last month i was diagnosed with my third bout in the same breast and am having surgery in 4 weeks. do i qualify for the class action suit and how do i go about that?

  • OwenNovember 27, 2009 at 12:03 am

    My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a partial mastectomy on 11/03/2009. She has been on PremPro for 7-8 yrs. We live in Kentucky, and just found out the danger of PremPro. Is she barred from legal action by a statute of limitations>

  • JudyOctober 29, 2009 at 5:06 am

    i was put HRT from my OB Dr. and after a few years on it. They found canser in my right breast. Which I had to have a mascetomy. I was Estergeon positive. and put on Tamxoafine for 5 years. I feel pain/have had the Shingles in that side and am lost with out my breast.

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