Courts Rule that Prempro Causes Cancer, but FDA Still Promotes It

PfizerDespite large pay outs to victims, Pfizer keeps selling the hormone replacement drug and the government keeps trying to make sure there’s no competition from the natural alternative!

This past week, a court told Pfizer Inc., the multinational pharmaceutical company, to pay $72.6 million in damages to three women. Each had developed breast cancer after taking the company’s hormone replacement drug, Prempro (made from pregnant mares’ urine), for treatment of their menopause symptoms. So why is this drug still being sold?
In 2002, the National Institutes of Health sponsored a Women’s Health Initiative study that showed Prempro is linked to cancer. The research demonstrated that Prempro, which is already known to increase the risk of breast cancer, also makes it more likely that the cancer will advance quickly and prove fatal.
Despite these findings, Pfizer continues to sell the drug—and the FDA has not taken any action to remove drug from the market. In fact, the FDA merely says that “women taking Prempro or other combination estrogen/progestin therapy should consult with their physicians about the relevance of this new information to their treatment,” and that “the FDA is not thinking of taking estrogens or estrogen with progestin drug products off the market at this time.”
Pfizer has now lost ten of the eighteen Prempro cases decided by juries since trials began in 2006. The drug-maker got some of those verdicts thrown out after the trial or had the awards reduced, offered settlements on others, and appealed the rest. Pfizer has also had cases thrown out before trial. The drug giant announced in May that it had settled a third of the pending Prempro cases and had set aside $772 million to help resolve the claims.
As we reported last week, drug companies can take these settlements in their stride because they know the government will never prosecute them. Besides, Pfizer had already made $2 billion before the 2002 study was released, so the money they pay in settlements is simply chalked up to the cost of doing business.
The collusion between Big Pharma and the government has ensured that the safer alternative—compounded bioidentical estriol—is still banned by the FDA. Not a single adverse event has ever been reported for bioidentical estriol.
You may recall from our earlier reporting on estriol that FDA essentially created new policy when the agency issued warning letters to compounding pharmacists prohibiting them from compounding estriol. Why would the FDA do such a thing? Because our government follows the dictates of the drug industry. In this case, it was in response to the Citizen Petition which Wyeth (now part of Pfizer) sent to FDA, asking them to pursue enforcement. Wyeth/Pfizer didn’t want competition for Prempro, and the FDA obeyed. The deadly, cancer-causing drug is still freely sold and marketed. Can you imagine the outcry if a supplement caused cancer but was still available for sale?
Due to an outpouring of protest from grassroots activists like you, behind-the-scenes lobbying by ANH-USA and other concerned organizations, and conflicting federal court decisions, at the moment there is a something of a stand-off on the issue—no new crackdowns have taken place. But FDA still has not revoked their ban on this natural, safe, inexpensive, and effective alternative to Prempro.


  1. If the bio-identical form has been prohibited, why am I still able to get it from my compounding pharmacist? Perhaps this is a question I should be asking him!

    1. Due to ANH-USA members’ advocacy in 2008, and ANH-USA’s media blitz around the issue, we were successful in only partially defeating the ban. At the time Congress passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 88 and House Concurrent Resolution 342, “Expressing the sense of Congress that the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new policy restricting women’s access to medications containing estriol does not serve the public interest.” Currently there is a stand off on the issue, and while some women have had difficulty-accessing estriol, and while insurance providers have cited FDA’s action to deny reimbursement for this medication, estriol is still generally available. Moreover, recent federal court decisions have restricted the ability of FDA to enforce its action. Even so, estriol is still officially banned by the FDA–they just have been pressured into not enforcing the ban, for now.

      1. My OB-GYN recently tried to prescribe Prempro to be used topically for a dryness issue in woman’s private area at a reduced price compared to Estradiol. I told her my concerns about MARE’s urine. I heard that it concerns me because I read that this Prempro causes cancer. I was then told that as long as it isn’t taken by tablet and only will use it topically that it would not go into my blood stream. How is that possible? I was taught in health class that anything put on the skin topically would be absorbed into the skin. What do you think about this statement that putting this Premarin on topically will not be absorbed into the blood stream. Is it possible that putting it on th delicate tissue of a woman’s private area would not be absorbed into the blood stream? I don’t think it is SAFE, either way. According to the reports given below, if it causes cancer, it probably could cause it whether put on topically or ingested. What do you think and/or advise?

        1. It is very clear that the medical industry has been hijacked by drug companies and their agendas have been accepted as “Health.” Even the text books doctors read and use in medical schools is created by drug companies now.
          In July 2004, Gary Null Ph.D, Carolyn Dean M.D., N.D, Martin Feldman M.D., Debora Rasio M.D., Dorothy Smith Ph.D. wrote a paper that revealed very disturbing facts regarding an annual iatrogenic (induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures) death rate of 783,936 in one year. It is further disturbing to realize that as few as 5 percent and only up to 20 percent of iatrogenic acts are ever reported. This means that that iatrogenic death rate of 783,936 is much higher.
          As we look at the causes of death from degenerative diseases and other causes in America in 2004, it is obvious we are not good at solving this problem on any level. Deaths from: Heart Disease 652,000, Cancer 553,000, and Stroke 150,000.
          When comparing the iatrogenic acts of modern medicine in America with the statistical numbers of people dying of any particular disease, it is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States. And when we look at the cost of these iatrogenic deaths, the cost is in the billions.
          According to the National Poison Center data banks, NO PERSON, NOT ONE, HAS DIED each year from taking VITAMINS. Yet the FDA spends huge amounts of time harassing Vitamin companies over foolishness regarding them not mentioning the word “cure.” In over 200 years, NO drug company has CURED a single degenerative disease, yet there seems to be NO problem doctors talking about drugs curing people, even though it does NOT happen.
          Doctors who prescribe these hormones are playing GOD without the credentials!

      2. I would not take PREMPRO IN any form. It gets absorbed beautifully through mucous membranes. Why do you think Nitroglycerin is being put under the tongue? Because it absorbs instantly. I would stay away from ANY drugs other than natural substances. Do not put money into the Big Pharma’s pockets by taking everything that is being released practically every day. No drug cures a disease. If it were there would have not been chronic diseases that plague our society today.

  2. It isn’t my imagination.
    America’s government is diligently persuing killing the popluation, a little at a time, in one way or another, each and every day.
    FDA rules against medications and supplements which work which have no side effects.
    FDA, in my opinion is for Big Pharma Corporations only.
    Just like our government, all they are interested in is the bottom line and how fat their wallets are.
    That is fine. Your time is doomed. We are all on to you also!
    The general public no longer believes in the FDA, for a million reasons.
    This department doesn’t give a Tinkers fart about public health.
    Power and money only.
    Your all disgusting. Pink Slip these people, all of them!

  3. This is just another way to show who is in who’s pocket. It also shows reason and rational thinking, thwarted by greed. In short it’s one method the 1% got to be that 1%.
    I find it disgusting that fact and ruling flies in the face of profit and greed and inflamed that it’s blessed, by an agency mandated to protect the people.

  4. Prempro was compared with Pueraria mirifica in a Phase III peer reviewed published trial, that demonstrated that Pueraria mirifica was equal to Prempro is every area, but it reverses 100% of the negatives caused by CEE. Pueraria mirifica is available from a number of manufacurers in the US.

  5. It should also be noted WHI study found that Premarin (the estrogen part of Prempro) used alone, showed a slightly smaller incidence of breast cancer. The synthetic progestin + Premarin showed an increase in the incidence. While the increased risk was significant, it was not huge.
    Women should know that transdermal bio-identical estradiol is available by standard prescription. It is known as Estrogel. Oral estradiol, both brand name and generic, is also available via standard prescription. Natural progesterone is available by prescription as Prometrium. Compounding is not necessary for those medicines, and it was not at all good for me.

  6. Pfizers have a criminal record, having been fined billions of dollars in the past. Their top executives have nothing to lose, knowing that if caught out it means no more than a fine, instead of them being jailed. This will not make any dent in the ginormous profits being made, apparently sometimes ‘nefariously, as the law courts have stated.

  7. My then-doctor tried to pressure me into going onto this dangerous drug back in 2001. Had I listened to him not only would I have been at higher risk of developing breast cancer, but also, my beautiful son would not exist today.

  8. who in their right mind would take this poison approved by the fda? be wise and research any thing you have to take made by big pharma, especially when it comes to anything that has to do with hormone therapy.

  9. I took Prempro, I got Cancer… Twice… I had it removed Twice… Now I am hoping it will never return. After surgery of course, they want you to use a different poison, ie: chemo or radiation… No thank you. I am sorry I took the Prempro, especially for so long. Tell all your sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, friends, teachers, pastors wives, and so on…

    1. I took Prempro for few years and got breast cancer at age of 49. I was suppose to benefit from it! I was suppose to be low risk since i am healthy, I don’t smoke or drink and i breast fed all my 3 children. I have 4 sisters and mother who never had cancer. So I also want to warn people, learn from my mistake!

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