Pfizer expects to wrap up Prempro suits for $1.2B total

The price tag Pfizer's ($PFE) Prempro settlements is now in. The drugmaker has paid $896 million to wrap up about 60% of the patient lawsuits, Bloomberg reports. That's about 6,000 cases, all alleging that its hormone-replacement drugs caused breast cancer.

Pfizer has also set aside more money--$330 million--to cover the rest of its Prempro liability. That's for about 4,000 suits still outstanding. Total: $1.226 billion for 10,000 cases, or a little more than $120,000 per case, on average. Up to this point, the company has paid an average of about $150,000 per, Pfizer said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The company also noted that the extra $330 million is just an estimate and may not cover all of the remaining 4,000 claims.

The Prempro litigation has been around for years, of course. The first trials began in 2006.  As Bloomberg points out, Pfizer and its Wyeth unit--which became part of the company with their 2009 merger--have lost 11 of 21 jury verdicts. Some of them were later settled or thrown out, and some are still under appeal.

The most recent decisions have gone Pfizer's way, spokesman Chris Loder told the news service. "After 9 years of litigation ... we are confident in our medicine, our track record of success in court where we have won eight of the last 10 final verdicts at trial, and in our ability to resolve these cases on appropriate terms," Loder said.

- read the Bloomberg story