Posts Tagged ‘Wyeth’
Is Prempro, the hormone drug known to increase the risk of breast cancer, a public hazard?
If a judge in Pinellas County determines that it is, hundreds of thousands of documents now under seal in lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer nationwide could be released for the public to inspect.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday, though attorneys were negotiating a possible resolution late Thursday.
More than 9,000 women have sued Pfizer’s Wyeth unit, the maker of Prempro and Premarin, claiming its bestselling hormone drugs caused breast cancer and stroke. The vast majority of those lawsuits have been consolidated in federal courts in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Nevada.
Not to worry, it will only take a few hours for them to make this money back.
Pfizer Inc. must pay about $75 million in punitive damages to an Illinois woman who developed cancer after taking one of the drugmaker’s menopause treatments, people familiar with a sealed verdict in the case said.
A Philadelphia jury ordered Pfizer’s Wyeth unit on Oct. 26 to pay the bad-conduct award, which is about 20 times larger than the $3.7 million in actual damages the panel awarded to Connie Barton over her use of Wyeth’s Prempro menopause drug, according to people with direct knowledge of the verdict.
A judge ordered Barton’s punitive-damage award sealed at Wyeth’s request until the trial of another Prempro lawsuit in the same courthouse is completed. Lawyers in that case say jurors won’t start deliberating on that suit’s claims for another three weeks.
“The company believes there is no basis in fact or in law for the jury verdict in the Barton case,” Pfizer spokesman Christopher Loder said. “We plan to ask the judge to reject both the compensatory and punitive awards. We anticipate that if the judge doesn’t grant the company a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, we will appeal.”
Loder said he couldn’t comment on the amount of the punitive damages verdict because of a court order banning disclosure of it while a related trial is in progress.