Another punitive damage verdict against maker of estrogen supplements
Pfizer bought out Pharmacia and Wyeth earlier this decade, and inherited their liability for marketing estrogen supplements without warning women that they greatly increased the risk of breast cancer. Women have now won 10 of the 12 cases that have been tried against the makers of estrogen supplements, and jurors in the last two cases awarded a total of $103 million in punitive damages after finding "wanton and reckless" misconduct in the marketing and warning associated with Premarin and Prempro. There are reportedly more than 10,000 of these cases pending in the United States--but most likely none pending in Michigan: we are the only state that immunizes drug manufacturers from their negligence if the FDA approves their drug. The drugs generated $2 billion dollars per year in sales in 2002 and still generate nearly that value in sales for Pfizer, despite a study published by the Women's Health Initiative and the federal government which linked hormone therapy to the increased risk of cancer.