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Jury finds Wyeth drug caused cancer

January 30, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Wyeth's Prempro menopause pill helped cause an Arkansas woman's breast cancer, and she deserves $1.5 million in damages, jurors found Monday in the company's second trial loss over its hormone replacement drugs.

A state court jury in Philadelphia deliberated about nine hours over two days before finding that Wyeth's conduct was "malicious, wanton, willful or oppressive," allowing plaintiff Mary Daniel to seek punitive damages. The jury will return today to consider awarding further damages.

The lawsuit is one of about 5,000 against Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth over its hormone replacement drugs, including Prempro and Premarin. Daniel was among as many as 6 million women who took the pills before a 2002 study highlighted links to cancer. Daniel, 60, took Prempro for about 16 months starting in December 1999. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2001.

The jurors found that Prempro was a "factual cause" of Daniel's cancer. The panel also agreed that Wyeth failed to provide proper warnings about Prempro's cancer risk.

Wyeth lawyer Peter Grossi said the company would ask Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Myrna Field to throw out the award.

Wyeth shares fell 35 cents, or 0.7%, to $50.60.

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