February 21, 2007
Jury rules Prempro caused woman’s breast cancer
A Philadelphia jury found on Tuesday that Wyeth’s hormone replacement therapy Prempro was the cause of a woman’s breast cancer and awarded her and her husband damages of $3 million. Wyeth said it plans to appeal the decision. “We respectfully disagree that there is any scientific basis to support the jury’s finding of a causal link between Wyeth’s hormone therapies and the plaintiff’s breast cancer,” said Barbara Binis, an attorney representing Wyeth in the case. A previous Philadelphia jury also found in favor of the plaintiff, Jennie Nelson in October. However the judge threw out that verdict and declared a mistrial, leading to the trial that concluded yesterday. The original jury had awarded Nelson and her husband $1.5 million in compensatory damages. This time Nelson was awarded $2.4 million and her husband $600,000. The reason for the mistrial was not disclosed however there has been speculation since that it may have been overturned as a result of juror misconduct. Wyeth is facing approximately 5,000 lawsuits over its hormone replacement therapies. The drugs remain on the market despite a major government-sponsored study that found using them for five years or more can increase the risk of breast cancer.