The attack article appeared in the Huffington Post by Phyllis Greenberger, CEO of Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR), an industry-sponsored mouthpiece that funnels money from the drug industry to doctors for research grants, speaking engagements, meetings and even gala celebrations.
Hot Flash and Cold Cash by Alicia Mundy
A 2003 expose by Alicia Mundy in the Washington Monthly discloses SWHR-industry ties to Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, and Wyeth, companies sitting on the SWHR advisory board.
Serving Your Corporate Master
Apparently, having the drug industry as one's corporate master
requires regurgitation of old marketing propaganda, even if it doesn't
make sense. Even to the most casual observer, this Huffington Post
piece is a blatant attempt to discredit bioidentical hormones using
fallacies, innuendo, and misinformation. Much of this material was
covered in my free book, Bioidentical Hormones 101.
Let's Take A Look At the Huff Post Article
The author, Phyllis Greenberger M.S.W., states, "Bioidentical hormones are not FDA approved."
This is blatantly incorrect. There are twenty or so FDA-approved bioidentical-hormone preparations widely available at corner drug stores. Here are a few examples: Vivelle-Dot, Estrace, Climara, Prometrium, Androgel, etc.
The author Phyllis Greenberger states: "Bioidentical hormones made by compounding pharmacies are non-FDA approved."
This is misleading and deceptive. Compounding pharmacies are regulated at the state level, and do not fall under FDA jurisdiction. So, of course compounding is not FDA approved. No FDA approval is required or even desired. Your local hospital pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy that makes up life-saving medication such as IV antibiotics with no FDA oversight or approval. The FDA-approval process is designed for manufacturer capsules and tablets, and is impractical and unnecessary for compounded medications prepared to order by hand. Are we going to reject IV antibiotics from the hospital pharmacy because these are non-FDA approved compounded medication? Of course not. Compounding is here to stay.
Preventing Endometrial Cancer
The author, Phyllis Greenberger, brings up a 2007 report of three
cases of endometrial cancer in women on bioidentical hormones, implying
that synthetic PremPro prevents endometrial cancer whereas biodentical
hormones do not. This is a blatant lie.
Prempro contains a synthetic
progestin that reduces the incidence of endometrial cancer. However,
this is not reduced to zero. The author conveniently neglected to
mention the 66 cases of endometrial cancer in Prempro-treated women as reported by Dr. Chlebowski. Examining the Women's Health Initiative data after 13.2 years of follow-up, there were 66
endometrial cancers among women given synthetic PremPro (premarin and
Another fact conveniently omitted by the article: The bioidentical hormone, progesterone, has been studied and is FDA approved for prevention of endometrial hyperplasia. Preventing endometrial hyperplasia is the best way to prevent endometrial cancer, and a major reason why progesterone is always included in a bioidentical-hormone program.
A "Bad Drug" in Litigation?
One easy way to determine if you are dealing with a "bad drug" is to ask the question: Is this a drug in litigation? For Prempro and synthetic "FDA-approved" women's hormones, the answer is yes; Prempro has been in litigation for years now. Pfizer, the company that bought Wyeth, has paid almost a billion dollars to settle 6,000 lawsuits by women who claimed the drug caused their breast cancer. This information should have been included, yet was conveniently omitted from the Huffington Post article by Phyllis Greenberger.