Prempro Settlements to Result in $1.2B Payments for Breast Cancer: Report

Pfizer is expected to pay a total of about $1.2 billion to settle lawsuits claiming that side effects of Prempro caused women to develop breast cancer

The drugmaker has already paid out $896 million to settle approximately 6,000 Prempro breast cancer lawsuits, and Pfizer has now set aside an additional $330 million to cover the remaining 4,000, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Prempro settlements come after six years of trials, in which several plaintiffs were awarded tens of millions of dollars, including punitive damages for the drug maker’s actions in withholding information about the risk of breast cancer from Prempro.

Commonly referred to as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), Prempro contains a combination of the drugs Provera and Premarin, which artificially boost hormone levels in women undergoing menopause due to surgery or in postmenopausal women. It was originally introduced by Wyeth, which was acquired by Pfizer in 2009.

About 10,000 women have filed a lawsuit after allegedly developing breast cancer from Prempro. In the litigation, 11 out of the 21 cases presented to a jury have resulted in a verdict in favor of the plaintiff.

In the early years those trials were against Wyeth, which originally developed Prempro, and Wyeth performed poorly in those cases. But in 2009 the company was acquired by Pfizer, which has won the last eight out of 10 trial verdicts.

If Pfizer is able to resolve all claims for the amount of money that has been set aside, each case will receive about $150,000 in compensation. However, some plaintiffs are likely to reject such offers, and Pfizer has noted that the remaining 4,000 claims may cost more to settle than the money set aside.

Most of the complaints were filed after a 2002 study by the National Institutes of Health found that women receiving HRT were at a higher risk of breast cancer, strokes and heart attacks. By that time, Prempro and other HRT drugs had been used by more than 6 million women.

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  1. Dian Reply

    invasive ductal carcinoma stage two, 6 months of chemo, radiation and breast removal

  2. Dee Reply

    I took Prempro and etc., for more than 5-years. When I found out about its side affect in 2003, I voluntarily stopped taking it. In August 2004, I was diagnosed with ductal-breast cancer. After my mastectomy, I refused to take Tomaxafin, too. Whereas, I am the ONLY female in my family who has breast cancer.

    Hopefully, these pharmaceutal companies will stop playing Russian Roulette with people lives and the court system. Because they are guilty: Pay up and Shut up!!!

    What is greater than destroying a person’s health or life. Regardless, CANCER is a death sentence: PERIOD!!!

  3. Sharon Reply

    I have had four surgeries on my right breast – nothing left there but skin. Surgeon refused to remove the breast after the third surgery – said still a good breast. As a result of the radiation, developed acid reflux. Lost 30 pounds in 1 year – only 138 to begin with. Tried to take the Arimidex, but could hardly walk down the halls. Put on Tamoxifen, developed suicidal thoughts. Was a fairly health person before this all developed. Only pill I ever took was the HRT. Have an older sister and two younger sisters, who never took HRT and they don’t have breast cancer. None in my family at all. When are these companies going to start taking care of the people they destroy?

  4. Louie Reply

    It shouldn’t matter long you were on the evil drug. If you got cancer they should pay.

  5. Faith Reply

    I am the middle of 3 sisters and am also the only one who took Prempro and the only one who has had breast cancer. I had the chemo and the radiation…….ugly experiences both. I am thankful to be a survivor but wonder why pharmecutical companies can continue to produce and market these drugs that have negative side effects that outweigh any benefit from the drug. I’ve really started questioning and researching everything the doctors offer at this point!

  6. DONNA Reply

    I was given Prempro ten years ago and wasnt asked if I take medicine for a thyroid condition and I have been diagnosed with Lichen Scerlosis which amazingly I acquired right after the use of Prempro, I itch constantly everyday on my vagina, it is terrible, I get ulcerative sores, cant have sex anymore, it is terrible, no relief at all from anything I have tried.

  7. Rosemary Reply

    Diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2013. Never was warned about getting it from prempro.

  8. Jacquelyn Reply

    I taken prempro for more than 3-4 years and now I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer can someone tell me if I can be included in theses siuts?

  9. kathy Reply

    I need to know if I qualify for inclusion on these lawsuits. I was on prempro 1998 to 1999> I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2001, and had surgery in February 2001. I did not know that this lawsuit was ongoing, and I feel as though I should be included. My oncologist had told me that I should never been on the hormone replacement drugs.

  10. marsha Reply

    I was told in 2012 i hadbreast cancer. I was told. It wasbecause of the hormones i had taken itook prempro. And was not told it would. Causebreast cancer i think they should pay for not warning us about this

  11. Patricia Reply

    Took prempro for 5years maybe more. Probably stopped in 2006. Not sure of dates.
    I have gerd. Heart attach 2014. Lobular breast cancer rt breast Feb 2016. Had lumpectomy but biopsy showed more cancer and was told i needed mastectomy. Had that two weeks later.
    I am undergoing breast reconstruction now. Last surgery is Oct 25 2016.
    I have thought about prempro and my cancer. I took it for many years and at the time I couldn’t live without it. It helped me get through Menopause.
    Now i take arimedex.

  12. Sandi Reply

    I too have been on many different HRT treatments. I took these around 10 years ago, after taking them I have had 2 different skin cancers and 9 years ago I had breast cancer I had all the treatments. I had to be away from my home and go through this by my self because treatment were not available where I lived. But I thought this way I would get rid of it for good. Be able to rise my boys and see my grandchildren grow up. Not true because here I go again, last week I had my Mammo and have been called back for more tests. We all know what that means. Never thought of this all being from meds a doctor gave me to make things better. HRT the give that keep giving.

  13. Susan Lanette Reply

    I took prim pro for 5 to 6 years and ended up getting breast cancer and had no history of breast cancer in my family and my doctor told me it might have been caused by this medication

  14. Fran Reply

    I was given prim pro about 15 months ago by my doctor to treat my menopause and subsequently developed an aggressive type of Breast Cancer. I’m currently going through chemo therapies. Doctors tell me my cancer might have been caused by prim Pro. I wish never ever had taken this medication.

  15. Nadya Reply

    2 months ago I was diagnosed with
    invasive ductal carcinoma stage One
    last month I went on surgery on my right breast. and now I need to go
    on going radiation, I took the genomic health test and it came positive which tells that the cancer will come back(Recurrence score results)
    that says that I have to worry for the rest of my life if I am going to live or not? that is a terrible feeling.
    I was on hormone therapy and it was never mentioned not even once about
    the risk of breast cancer.

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