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Pfizer to pay $72.6M to women who say drugs caused cancer

A jury has decided that Pfizer Inc. is obligated to pay a total of almost $73 million to three women who claimed its menopause drug, Prempro, caused them to develop breast cancer.

The product liability case ended with a verdict that will award one woman $20 million; another $24.75 million; and yet another $27.85 in compensatory damages. Punitive damages are still to be determined.

Pfizer reportedly inherited Prempro and similar drugs when it bought two other companies. According to reports, more than six million women took the drug or related drugs by the time a 2002 study was released that revealed a link to cancer. There were apparently sales of the drug worth $2 billion by that time.

Pfizer has reportedly set aside about $300 million for lawsuits like this one. Thousands of cases have been filed relating to Prempro. This is the highest award to date, surpassing a $58 million award involving three women. One report says that of 18 cases decided by juries since 2006, Pfizer and its affiliated companies have lost 10 of them. However, some of the awards were thrown out or reduced later.

The women in the recent case say they are pleased with the outcome. Pfizer, not surprisingly, is “obviously disappointed,” a spokesperson says. The company apparently plans to consider its legal options as the case continues, according to Philly.com.

The company notes that more than 3,000 cases relating to hormone therapy drugs were dismissed or withdrawn before trial.

If you need a trusted Orlando product liability lawyer, contact Oldham & Smith today.

Source: Philly.com, “Phila. Jury orders Pfizer to pay 3 women $72.6 million in damages over menopause drugs,” David Sell, Dec. 7, 2011

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