On October 4, 2006, a jury in Philadelphia awarded a woman $1 million and her husband $500,000 after they determined Prempro was responsible for causing her breast cancer. Wyeth could also be held responsible for paying severe punitive damages if the second phase of the trial decides that the pharmaceutical company had advance knowledge of the dangers of Prempro and chose to market it without warning consumers. There are currently around 5,000 cases against Wyeth awaiting trial. The first Prempro trial in September 2006 found that Wyeth had not adequately warned doctors or consumers of the potential dangers associated with the drug.
Though it's wonderful that individuals are living longer than any other time in history, the side result for more and more females is menopause. During this time when menstruation ceases, most women experience uncomfortable physical and mental reactions to their changing bodies, including hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
For those women who would rather not just "wait it out", many physicians have prescribed Prempro. A "conjugated estrogen", Prempro is given with progesterone to combat the discomfort the sudden rush of warmth that "hot flashes" can bring. It can also be used to treat vaginal changes such as itching, dryness, or burning (common symptoms of menopause.) Finally, it is sometimes given in an effort to prevent osteoporosis in menopausal women.
As it is for women who are entering a time of life when child-bearing becomes unlikely if not impossible, those who may be pregnant or who want to become pregnant should never use Prempro.
The list of Prempro's possible side effects reads like a tome. Though not all-inclusive, some of the adverse reactions are noted below:
- blood clots;
- vaginal bleeding (not related to menstruation);
- blood sugar complications;
- depression; and
- allergic reactions (such as rashes).
Recently, a study conducted by the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) found a connection between breast cancer and heart attacks in females who took Prempro. This took many by surprise who otherwise would not have considered using the medication had they known the full risks.
This leads to an ethical question - is Prempro a "safe" treatment for menopause or a defective drug that was pushed to market before it had been properly investigated? Though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not removed it from the market, many feel that Prempro should be studied further.
As a consumer advocacy law firm, we are concerned about Prempro's availability. Certainly, we sympathize with those who have endured the unwelcome symptoms of menopause; however, those nonfatal symptoms pale in comparison to the possibility of breast cancer development.
Through a no-obligation, free consultation with one of our legal professionals, you'll be able to determine your rights under the law. In fact, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your pain. Call us today.