Prempro is a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) designed to replace hormones lost during menopause and to relieve physical symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings and night sweats. In the past several years, Prempro has been the target of thousands of Prempro heart disease and Prempro breast cancer lawsuits, and a nationwide class action lawsuit has been filed against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now Pfizer).
Prempro HRT has been proven to cause serious health risks in women. Before 2002, it was believed that Prempro and other HRT therapies protected women against heart disease and osteoporosis and helped to treat symptoms of menopause. Instead, a huge federal study found that Prempro hormone replacement therapy increases the incidence of Prempro breast cancer by 26 percent, including heart attack by 29 percent, stroke by 41 percent and blood clots in the legs and veins by 105 percent.
As well, a number of other adverse health consequences have been reported including ovarian and gall bladder cancer, lupus, non-hodgkins lymphoma, heart attack, sclerederma, venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and asthma.
It is estimated that 6 million American women use Prempro, a combination of premarin (which is estrogen) and progesterone. In 2001, approximately 22.3 million prescriptions were written for Prempro to treat post-menopausal hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.
In 1990, Wyeth, the manufacturer, requested that the FDA change the label of their HRT drugs to include that they protect against heart disease. Prempro was approved as HRT by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1994, but the drug was put on the market even though it lacked a randomized clinical trial.
By the mid-1990s, the labels for Prempro and Premarin hormone drugs claimed that the drugs were approved by the FDA to treat moderate to severe menopause symptoms, such hot flashes, and to prevent osteoporosis.
In July 2002, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) announced that it had stopped a major clinical trial of the risks and benefits of combined estrogen and progestin-- Prempro was the only estrogen/progestin combination drug tested in the study. (The study was supposed to continue until 2005.) The NHLBI study found a marked increase in breast cancer for women who were taking Prempro compared to those in the placebo group.
In 2003, following a study conducted by the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) showing these links, the FDA required Wyeth to change Prempro's labeling to include information from the WHI study – specifically that the drug may increase the risk of myocardial infarctions (heart attack), stroke, invasive breast cancer, pulmonary embolism (blood clots), and deep vein thrombosis (deep vein blood clots) in postmenopausal women who take the drug for more than 5 years.
On December 12, 2009 The New York Times reported that recently examined court documents from HRT lawsuits argued that Wyeth oversold the benefits of its menopausal hormone drugs while failing to warn of their risks. According to the NYT, documents show that Wyeth spent tens of millions of dollars—such as paying influential physicians, scientific publications and celebrity ads--promoting Prempro with positive preventive health messages.
Prempro, manufactured by Wyeth, is the primary drug involved in HRT lawsuits. Over the last seven years, 13,000 people have sued Wyeth (and are now suing Pfizer, the world's biggest drugmaker, which acquired Wyeth), alleging that Prempro and other hormone drugs caused breast cancer and other health problems.
In November 2009, a Philadelphia jury ordered Pfizer to pay $6.3 million in compensatory damages to an Illinois breast cancer survivor after finding menopause drugs Premarin, Provera and Prempro caused the disease.
In October 2009, a jury in a Pennsylvania state court awarded a woman $75 million in punitive damages from Wyeth on top of compensatory damages of $3.75 million. The suit asserted that Wyeth oversold the benefits of menopausal hormones and failed to properly warn of the risks.
In October 2007 a Nevada jury awarded $134.5 million to three women who developed breast cancer following use of Prempro and Premarin. The verdict was the largest against drugmaker Wyeth related to its hormone replacement therapy. A fourth woman settled before trial and passed away in April 2007 at the age of 59.
In February 2007a jury in Philadelphia found that Prempro caused Jennie Nelson's breast cancer and awarded her and her husband $3 million in damages. Nelson previously had been awarded $1.5 million by a jury in October 2006, but a mistrial was declared after the verdict had been returned.
In January 2007 a Philadelphia jury found that Prempro was responsible for Mary Daniel's breast cancer and ordered Wyeth to pay $1.5 million in compensatory damages. The jury concluded that Wyeth was negligent in failing to provide adequate warnings about the risk of breast cancer associated with Prempro.
Even though Wyeth has received thousands of warnings and lawsuits linking Prempro to breast cancer, strokes and other serious illnesses, the drug remains on the market. Experts believe that Wyeth has known of the adverse events caused by Prempro for many years, but it has chosen profits over safety—in 2006 and 2007, Prempro sales were over $1 billion.
Now, many doctors limit hormone therapy to women with specific menopause symptoms and do not prescribe Prempro and other HRT drugs beyond menopause.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious illness as a result of taking taken progestin or a combination of progestin and estrogen, you may qualify for damages or remedies that may be awarded in a Prempro class action or lawsuit.
Prempro HRT Legal Help
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of Prempro, please fill in our form on the right to send your complaint to a lawyer who will evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
I am 60 years old. I took Prempro for 15 years at onset of menopause at age 40. I stopped taking Prempro approximately 2008 after I suffered a blood clot in a main artery on the right side of my chest. I was diagnosed with invasive stage 2 breast cancer in my right breast, and lobular carcinoma in my left breast, and underwent double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation in 2012 at age 54. I have no history of breast cancer in my family. My breast cancer was hormone receptive. My oncologist informed me of a correlation between HRT, and breast cancer. After doing some research I saw that a large number of women who took Prempro also suffered from breast cancer and blood clots. What are the statute of limitations on this litigation? I read that Pfizer has set aside over 700 million for cases similar to mine. I currently reside in San Antonio, TX. Thank you.
Posted by Lori Cox
I was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri over 20 years ago.
I have a shunt to drain excess spinal fluid from my brain and
have been on disability for 20 years. I have had a headache
constantly for over 20 years, suffer from pulsitile tenitis,
severe physical and visual impairments and I am unable to
manage the everyday aspects of a normal life.
I was prescribed Premarin as a hormone replacement for over 5
years prior to the start of any of my symptoms.
I am trying to find out if my diagnosis and medication falls
under any of the settlements that have been awarded or, if not,
I would like to find an attorney to assist me in filing a claim
on a contingency basis.
Because of my ongoing condition I am unable to afford an attorney
out of pocket.
If you could help, or know of anyone who can, your assistance would
be sincerely appreciated.
Posted by Nikki
I had no problem with menopause, really no symptoms. My doctor pushed Prempro because it was supposed to pr event heart disease and protect your bones. I took it until I heard on the radio that it actually gave patients a greater heart attack risk. I never knew about the breast cancer risk until now that I have developed breast cancer. My cancer is very hormone receptor positive. I am all the things they say to reduce risk, very physically active, not overweight rarely drink alcohol, never smoked. I couldn't under stand why I got breast cancer until I found out about Prempro causing it.
Posted by Niella
On prempro for almost eight years after suffering from hot flashes that began with menopause. Found to have invasive breast cancer a couple of months ago. lump was slightly less than a centimeter. HR and PR positive, HER negative whew! lumpectomy is followed by radiation and 5 years of estrogen inhibitor.
Posted by Christine Carnes
I took PremPro for several years after the Dr. I worked for gave me samples to try because I was crying at work and I didn't know why. My family Dr. prescribed it for me for Menopause until my new Dr. at Kaiser Permanente told me to top taking it because of the dangerous side effects. Now in 9/015 I was diagnosed with Hormone positive Breast CA. I had a miserable 6 month period until the Dr. finally did a lumpectomy for stage 1/2 cancer. Now I'm on my 12th tx. of radiation out of 36. I will have to take a pill for 5 years which may have bad side effects. Also I will have to worry if it comes back and worry if my other breast will get cancer.. I'm 65 and there was no breast CA on either side of my family and my Mom is still alive at 95 and knows a lot about our family's medical history. What to do?
Posted by pamela Wilson
Last year I was diagnosed with lubuler breast cancer due to hormone induced I have had both breast removed one last year and the other one a few months ago with pre cancerous cells. I have been on prempro and premarin for around 15 years.
Posted by New York
I was precribed Prempro for menopause symtoms. I took Prempro from the years 1999 to 2010. This year, January 10, 2013. I found a 2cm lump in my breast and it was found to be a Her2+positive, which is hormone-driven. I am presently undergoing chemo with estrogen blockers (Herceptin) and will continue on chemo until June 12, 2013. I will then receive radiation for 61/2 weeks and then will continue to be on Herceptin until next year.
Posted by Mississippi
I had to have a lumpectomy and 36 treatments of radiation and still have to go to the doctor every 6 months. I still worry if it going to come back (my cancer).
Posted by Tennessee
Was on bio-identical hormone replace therapy from around 2008 - 2010 and in Dec 2010 was dx with hormone positive breast cancer. Had a double mastectomy 25 Jan 2011. These clinics say there is no risk of breast cancer because these products are "natural" and this is not what the FDA and other medical organizations are saying. This type of hormone therapy is doing what Prempro HRT is doing.
Posted by Michigan
I had been taking Loestrin for 20+ years which was adequately addressing my menopause symptoms. My Doctor decided to change me to Prempro in 10/2006 for reasons I do not know. I had to have a partial mastectomy in 10/2007 followed by 6 weeks of daily radiation as the margins weren't clean. I had reconstructive surgery but am still grossly disfigured! I still have constant pain in my breast and ribs which has been diagnosed as Costochondritis.
Posted by Oklahoma
Once she was put on the medication the cancer came back and consumed her whole body. The cancer spread to her lungs, bone, brain, and liver. She passed away at the young age of 53 because of this horrific drug. I believe this company should pay for all of the pain and agony that my mother and family went through.
Posted by Ohio
I had a tram flap with numerous problems. Now as a result of the estrogen,which my oncologist said was onset by the estrogen therepy I can take nothing for my menopause problems--therefore making my life a living hell! My doctors tell me if I take any kind of estrogen therepy I will get cancer in my remaining breast. This has efffected all of my family and friends as well as me ! It has even caused problems with my sex life because of no horomones.
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