Drug row

Prescription drug Prempro, used to treat menopausal symptoms, is under the scanner in the US following a government study that has linked it to other health problems. Class action suits have been brought against the drug's maker, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Company spokesperson Natalie de Vane, however, claims the charges are baseless.

The plaintiffs are seeking to inform the public that consumers of Prempro, a combination of oestrogen and progestin, are at an increased risk of invasive breast cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke and pulmonary embolism. They have also contended that compensation be given to victims for personal injuries and a fund instituted for all users of the drug for medical monitoring. "Even if the plaintiffs have a valid claim, it will be difficult to prove,' feels Boston lawyer Michael Hugo.

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