Prempro Hormone Replacement Therapy
Pfizer Will Pay $330M To Settle Prempro Cases
Pfizer has agreed to pay about $330 million to settle more than 2,200 lawsuits charging its Prempro hormone replacement therapy caused women to develop breast cancer, embracing a strategy used by several other drugmakers to cap the cost of growing product-liability litigation that can worry investors. The cases settled for an average of about $150,000, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported the settlement, although a Pfizer spokesman disputed the figures. The move came after a Pennsylvania appeals court reinstated $1.7 million in compensatory damages and $8.6 million in punitive damages against Pfizer in a lawsuit filed by an Arkansas woman, who alleged its Wyeth unit failed to warn that Prempro could cause her to develop breast cancer.
The settlement comes just weeks after Ian Read took over as Pfizer ceo, suggesting a desire to put aside an eight-year-long battle over Prempro. In recent months, GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay large sums to resolve lawsuits alleging harm from its Avandia diabetes pill and Paxil antidepressant (see here and here). Similarly, AstraZeneca has settled lawsuits over its Seroquel antipsychotic (read this).
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania issued the ruling Monday, reversing a 2007 trial court decision to grant Wyeth a new trial and throw out the compensatory damage award. The appellate panel concluded no “fraud on the court took place here and a new trial should not have been granted,” according to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania (here is the ruling).
The ruling means Pfizer must also pay anotherl $2.4 million in interest, Esther Berezofsky, the attorney for the plaintiff, Mary Daniels and her family, tells Bloomberg News. Pfizer is considering its options.
For those keeping score, Pfizer has now lost eight of 15 Prempro cases that were decided by juries since trials began five years ago. However, Pfizer has succeeded in having some verdicts tossed after a trial or had awards reduced. Some verdicts, meanwhile, were settled and some are on appeal. Pfizer also won dismissals of more than 3,000 cases before these went to trial.
Source : One Click Group via Pharmalot
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