An article posted by Peter Lattman on the Law Blog of the Wall Street Journal informs us that the first Prempro trial has started in Arkansas. The drug, used in hormone-replacement therapy (HRT), has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer and stroke.
Opening arguments got underway today in the first Wyeth Prempro trial, the pharmaceutical industry’s latest mass tort litigation (see also, Merck Vioxx, J&J’s Ortho Evra, Pfizer’s Celebrex). Here’s the WSJ story.
A 67-year-old woman says she developed breast cancer after taking Premarin and Prempro, Wyeth’s drugs to treat menopausal symptoms. The case, which is being tried in federal court in Arkansas before Judge William Wilson, is the first of 5,000 Prempro cases. It’s the latest litigation for the New Jersey-based pharma giant, which just paid out more than $21 billion in the Fen-Phen litigation.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys say their cases are bolstered by results from a large, government-funded 2002 study known as the Women’s Health Initiative, which linked hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) drugs to an increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer and stroke. Plaintiffs also allege that Wyeth failed to warn of the drugs’ risks, and was negligent.
Sadly, some women who were taken off the drugs a few years back are only now discovering they have breast cancer.