A Philadelphia jury has found drug giant Pfizer Inc. guilty of deliberately ignoring evidence that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drug Prempro increased women's risk of breast cancer, ordering it to pay unspecified damages to defendant Connie Barton.
Millions of women used Prempro and other HRT drugs up until 2002, when the groundbreaking Women's Health Initiative study found that taking the drugs significantly increased women's risk of breast cancer and death from cardiovascular disease. The risk was so striking that researchers called an early halt to the study out of concern for participants' lives. The drugs were -- and still are -- marketed to relieve the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings and night sweats.
More recent research suggests that HRT drugs also increase women's risk of dying from lung cancer.'