Premarin, Prempro, Other Hormone Drugs Named in Nevada Lawsuit

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals is facing yet another lawsuit over its hormone replacement therapy drugs, <"">Premarin, <"">Prempro and <"">Premphase.  This time, the state of Nevada is charging that Wyeth used deceptive practices in selling the drugs.  The Nevada attorney general has also targeted Pfizer, Inc.’s Provera.

The Nevada lawsuit charges that Wyeth and Pfizer misled consumers about the safety and effectiveness of the hormone therapy drugs.  The lawsuit claims that the deception  resulted in over-prescribing and a dramatic increase in hormone-positive breast cancers in post-menopausal women.

“When drug companies purposefully misrepresent the safety and efficacy of their drugs, or promote their drugs in a deceptive way, everybody loses,” Attorney General Cortez Masto said in a statement. “We’re confident we have the facts necessary to prove this case, and we hope this lawsuit and its outcome will deter improper drug company practices in Nevada.”

Hormone therapy drugs like Premarin, Prempro, Premphase and Provera are used to treat the hot flashes and other symptoms that accompany menopause.  In 2002, a major study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) determined that Prempro, Premarin and similar drugs significantly increased the risk of stroke, blood clots, heart attacks and breast cancer. The study results were so alarming that the NIH canceled the study, citing risk to the study’s participants. The authors of the study suggested that many of the women who used the medications should quit and talk to their doctors about alternatives.

According to a press release issued by Masto’s office, the attorney general’s lawsuit was filed in conjunction with private law firms representing victims of Premarin, Prempro, Premphase and Provera.  Those firms have been litigating similar cases on behalf of individual Nevada women for over four years, resulting in numerous settlements and a 2007 verdict in Reno on behalf of three women with breast cancer, the release said.

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