Prempro jury levies damages against Wyeth

For the third time in a row, the jury in a drug liability case has sided against pharma. Having already concluded that Wyeth's Prempro hormone replacement therapy was linked to plaintiff Cindy Barton's breast cancer, the 8-member panel awarded $3.75 million in compensatory damages.

The jury had also found that Wyeth hid evidence of the potential cancer risk, and for that it levied punitive damages. That amount is under court seal, however, pending the verdict in another Prempro case in Philadelphia. Wyeth had argued that news of punitive damages in this case could sway the jurors in the other case. That means the award will be sealed for at least a month, the Philadelphia Inquirer notes.

Now part of Pfizer, Wyeth faces some 9,000 plaintiffs claiming hormone-replacement injuries. Some 1,500 cases are pending in Philadelphia alone, the Associated Press reports. In a similar case tried in Nevada two years ago, a jury also found Wyeth at fault and awarded the three plaintiffs $135 million; the judge reduced that award to $35 million.

- get the news from the Inquirer
- see the AP story