According to Pharmalot.com, the Nevada Supreme Court has upheld a $58 million judgment awarded to three Nevada women who alleged they developed breast cancer after taking Wyeth's Prempro hormone replacement therapy. The ruling confirms a judgment in favor of Arlene Rowatt, Jeraldine Scofield and Pamela Forrester. According to reports, Forrester and Rowatt have since died.
Justice Michael Cherry wrote in his opinion that studies dating back to the 1980s found links between breast cancer and the drug, but Wyeth ignored and even downplayed those risks when marketing the drug. Justice Cherry went on to say, "[t]he harm caused in this case was physical--breast cancer and its resulting surgeries and treatment. Wyeth's misrepresentations and concealment of data showed reckless disregard for the health and safety of the users of its drugs. The harm suffered by respondents was the result of Wyeth's malicious activities and deceit. Over the years, Wyeth organized task forces to contain any negative publicity about hormone therapy and breast cancer."
Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer, has lost seven of twelve cases that have gone to juries. Another approximately 8,000 cases are still awaiting trial.
Prempro had been widely used until 2002 when the Women's Health Initiative study found that women taking Prempro had a 24 percent higher risk of breast cancer. The study was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.