HRT Risks Outweigh Benefits Because Big Pharma Lied
October 28, 2009
In the second phase of a trial against Wyeth over their hormone replacement therapy (HRT) Prempro, a Philadelphia jury has determined that Wyeth purposefully hid the risk of breast cancer and awarded the plaintiff punitive damages in addition to the $3.7 million in damages awarded last month. The amount of the punitive damages award has been sealed pending the outcome of another Prempro trial that is already underway in the same courthouse.
The verdict came in a Prempro lawsuit filed on behalf of 64-year old Connie Barton, who was diagnosed with breast cancer after taking the drug for five years to treat menopause symptoms. In the first phase of the trial, the jury found that Barton’s breast cancer was caused by side effects of Prempro and determined that she should be awarded $3.7 million in damages.
In the second phase of the trial, the jury considered whether Wyeth was responsible for those damages and whether their conduct was so bad that punitive damages should be awarded as punishment. According to Bloomberg News, the jury only deliberated for 25 minutes before ordering Wyeth to pay the compensatory damages of $3.7 million and a punitive damages award that was immediately sealed by the court.