February 11, 2011
Drugmaker Pfizer Incorporated has agreed to settle more than 2,200 lawsuits filed against its Wyeth unit over its hormone replacement drug Prempro.
A company spokesman told Bloomberg News that Pfizer will pay $330 million over claims that Prempro caused breast cancer.
More than 6 million women reportedly took the drug, which contains a combination of estrogen and progestin, to treat menopause related symptoms before a 2002 study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health revealed that it may be linked to cancer. The study found that woman who took Prempro for more than five years faced a greater risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart attack and blood clots in the lungs. The drug was never pulled from the market.
According to the news source, more than 10,000 lawsuits had been filed against Pfizer, including more than 8,000 claims that had been consolidated in federal and state class action suits.
The $330 million settlement is reportedly the first major settlement in the case after eight years of litigation.
A study published in October 2010 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who menopause drugs that contain both estrogen and progestin were more likely to die of breast cancer.