Wyeth has settled two women’s claims that its hormone-replacement drugs Prempro and Premarin caused their breast cancer. The company agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to settle the claims which were pending in a Nevada court. It was alleged that Wyeth failed to adequately warn the women about the drugs’ breast cancer risks. Wyeth is facing more than 10,000 lawsuits over the menopause drugs, which are still on the market, according to our best estimate. The company’s sales of the drugs topped $2 billion before a 2002 study found women using the medicines had a 24% higher risk of breast cancer. More than six million women took the pills to treat menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. Until 1996, some menopausal women used Premarin, which contains estrogen, together with Provera (made by Pharmacia Upjohn), which contains progesterin. During that year Wyeth combined the two substances in Prempro. Our friends, Zoe Littlepage and Raney Booth, two very good lawyers, represented the two women in this case and did an outstanding job. They will proceed to trial against Pharmacia Upjohn.
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