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Thursday, July 27, 2006 - Wyeth Faces First Trial Over Hormone Replacement Therapy: "Wyeth Faces First Trial Over Hormone Replacement Therapy
Theresa Agovino
The Associated Press
July 26, 2006
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Linda Reeves thought it was a good idea to take hormone replacement therapy to help prevent the osteoporosis that plagued her mother.
But doubts surfaced six years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and her doctor instructed her to stop taking the pills.
The 67-year-old endured a mastectomy, and while Reeves said she feels fine now, she fears her cancer may return.
'I think about it an awful lot. It is something that is there in the back of my mind,' said Reeves, a secretary living in Benton, Ark.
Reeves blames her cancer on roughly eight years of taking Prempro, an estrogen-progestin combination made by Wyeth and prescribed to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
Next month, Reeves will face Wyeth in a federal court in Little Rock, Ark., in the first of approximately 4,500 lawsuits filed against the company over hormone replacement therapy. Key to her case are internal marketing documents her lawyers claim show Wyeth put profits ahead of patients.
The case marks the beginning of what could be a long process that could compound the financial fallout Wyeth suffered from a clinical study halted in 2002. The Women's Health Initiative study found Prempro patients had a higher risk of breast cancer, stroke and coronary heart disease. Prempro sales, along with those of sister drug, estrogen-only pill Premarin, dropped to $909 million last year from $2.07 billion 2001.
Wyeth heads to court Aug. 21 after finally reaching settlements for most of the lawsuits over the former diet drug combination fen-phen with a price tag of $21 billion to d"


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