Wyeth agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to Las Vegas residents Vesta Woodhouse, 71, and Annie Woods, 61, to resolve allegations it failed to adequately warn them about breast cancer risks. The settlement leaves Pfizer to face trial this week in a similar case brought by Woods over its hormone-therapy drug Provera, the wire service writes.
The deal follows a ruling last week by a New Jersey judge who dismissed two similar lawsuits against Wyeth and Pfizer's Pharmacia & Upjohn unit for lack of evidence. The plaintiffs in those cases, which would have been the first to go to trial in New Jersey, failed to produce enough evidence that the drugmakers downplayed links to breast cancer.
Wyeth faces at least 5,000 lawsuits over the menopause drugs, which are still on the market. The two Nevada plaintiffswere among more than 6 million women who took the pills. Woodhouse took Prempro for 19 months before developing breast cancer. Woods took Premarin, Provera and then Prempro for about five years before developing breast cancer.
Last week, a federal judge in Arkansas wiped out a $27 million punitive award against Wyeth and Pfizer in one case, marking the second time in five months that a judge reduced damages awarded to women who accused Wyeth of disregarding cancer risks.
Wyeth, by the way, crowed last week in separate press releases about the rulings in New Jersey and Arkansas, but hasn't said boo - at least of this morning - about the settlement in Nevada. A Wyeth spokesman declined to comment to us and, according to Bloomberg, Zoe Littlepage, an attorney for the women, couldn't be reached.
So far, Wyeth has lost four of seven cases over menopause drugs Premarin and Prempro since they began going to trial in 2006, Bloomberg reminds us. Pfizer has lost both cases that have gone to trial over Provera.
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