Pfizer Inc. has revealed in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it has already paid $896 million to settle some 6000 lawsuits related to its menopause drug, Prempro. Approximately 4000 suits are still pending against the drug manufacturer, and Pfizer has revealed that it has also set aside an additional $330 million to resolve the remaining claims.
Prempro received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 1994 for the treatment of menopause symptoms including hot flashes and mood swings. Seen as a miraculous cure for these annoying side effects of menopause, the combination estrogen-progestin hormone supplement was taken by over 15 million women before a 2002 study by the Women's Health Initiative of the National Institute of Health revealed that use of Prempro and other similar hormone replacement drugs could be directly linked to an almost doubled risk of developing breast cancer.
In April 2012, a federal jury in Connecticut ordered Pfizer to pay at least $4 million in damages to women who had developed breast cancer after taking Prempro. Additionally, the jury levied punitive damages against the drug manufacturer for its handling of Prempro in the wake of side effect discoveries; the judge in the case is still considering how much that fine should be.
In addition to increasing the risk of developing breast cancer, Prempro has also been shown to cause:
- An increased risk of heart attacks
- An increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Increased risk of developing lung cancer
- Increased risk of developing uterine and or ovarian cancer
- Increased risk of dementia
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Increased risk of gallbladder disease
Although Pfizer has already settled numerous Prempro claims, new injury cases can still be filed against the drug manufacturer. If you or a loved one developed breast cancer or another serious illness after taking Prempro, you may be entitled to seek damages from Pfizer. The pharmaceutical injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin are pleased to offer free and confidential consultations to anyone who is considering filing a Prempro injury claim, so contact our office today.