Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 13 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Hormones Hard to Give Up--for Drug Companies That Make Them

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
Message Martha Rosenberg
Become a Fan
  (84 fans)
Hormones Hard to Give Up--for Drug Companies That Make Them

Since federal researchers halted the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) hormone replacement therapy (HRT) study in 2002, three years early because the drugs were so dangerous, the sequence of events has played out almost like a joke.

Doctor: I have some bad news. The HRT pills you've been taking cause cancer, stroke, blood clots and heart disease.
Patient: What's the good news, Doctor?
Doctor: I'm dating the cute receptionist out there!


Doctor: The hormones I've been prescribing you cause breast cancer, ovarian cancer and gall bladder cancer.
Patient: I want a second opinion.
Doctor: Okay, they also cause heart attack, stroke, lupus, scleroderma, venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.*

Americans are used to pills that don't work. We know despite the anorexic in the ad, diet pills probably mean less than a two pound loss per month, equivalent to saying no to that scone.

We're used to pills with potential risks like aspirin's gastrointestinal bleeding and Tylenol's liver damage.

But a medicine that promises a 26 percent increased risk of breast cancer; a 29 percent increased risk of heart attack; a 41 percent increased risk of stroke, and a 100 percent increased risk of blood clots?**

You're not a patient; you're a lab animal.

Of course no one expected pharma to roll over and play dead after the HRT debacle. Maybe get to work on an antibiotic for MRSA. (Hello!) Not when they have a perfectly good drug that just needs a use--kind of like Thalidomide. Not when marketing is so much cheaper than R&D. Not when marketing to healthy people is the best marketing of all.

After all, prescriptions for Wyeth's Prempro plummeted 76 percent and Premarin, 47 percent when women quit HRT. Wyeth had to eliminate 15 percent of its drug sales representatives who call on primary care physicians and close its Rouses Point, N.Y., plant. You think they'll take that lying down?

And, Pfizer, maker of Provera? It hit its lowest stock price in a decade in 2005 thanks to Viagra, Celebrex and Betxra woes.

So maybe pharma is behind all the new "studies"--actually just new statistical analyses of the WHI findings--that claim the women studied were too old, too sick and, well, too, menopausal. They had uteruses; they didn't have uteruses; they only used estrogen; they only used progestin; HRT is still a miracle drug! (for someone.)

At least that's what Dr. Lewis Kuller, a co-author of the WHI study and professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health suggests about HRT loyalists.

"You should ask how much money they're getting from the drug industry to dispense these hormones," he said. "We hurt their business, frankly."+

Wyeth has even filed a complaint with the FDA asking it to take action against small pharmacies that make plant based "bioidentical" hormones which many women are beginning to prefer over Wyeth's mare urine compounds.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Martha Rosenberg Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Grassley Investigates Lilly/WebMD link Reported by Washington Post

The Drug Store in Your Tap Water

It's the Cymbalta Stupid

Are You Sure You're Not Psychotic Asks Shameless Drug Company?

Another Poorly Regulated "Derivative"--the Antidepressant Pristiq

MRSA and More. Antibiotics Linked to Obesity and Allergies, Too

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend