Woman Sues Maker of Prempro - ABCNews.com - July 16, 2002

ABCNews.com
July 16, 2002

A woman who believes Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) resulted in her diagnosis of breast cancer wants to reach other women. Gayle Lewers is one of three women who filed a lawsuit Monday in Chicago against the makers of Prempro, the hormone replacement drug.

Mrs. Lewers, like millions of other women, started taking HRT to treat menopausal symptoms at her doctor's request. Like many other women ...she says she was surprised last week to hear a government-funded study had been halted because of a link between HRT and breast cancer and heart disease. So now she's doing something about it.

'I was watching the 10 o'clock news and I said I got that ....that's the medicine I took. '

Gayle Lewers says last weeks news reports about the risks of HRT confirm what she's believed for a long time-- that Hormone Replacement Therapy is the reason she came down with breast cancer.

She says she started taking the drug Prempro to cure her hot flashes and was on the drug for more than three years when she was diagnosed in 1999. She eventually underwent a mastectomy.

'Oddly enough I've been telling women don't take it... everyone I talk about it to not to take any pills,' said Gayle Lewers, breast cancer patient.

It's important to mention there is no proof at this time that Gayle's breast cancer or any other woman's is linked to Prempro. But she's one of several women trying to get involved in a class action suit against the makers of the drug, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

A Wyeth spokesperson told us by phone 'the company does not believe there is any legal or factual basis for any claims against Wyeth ...related to Prempro.'

The controversy heated up last week when a National Institutes of Health study was called off because of evidence the drug used to treat menopausal symptoms increased a woman's chance of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Gayle's daughter Peggy says her mother has been through a lot.

'No other woman in our family has had breast cancer until my mother and to get it so severly. To have three cancerous tumors in one breast ..two in the other all at the same time ...I just feel that this had something to do with the medicine she took,' said Peggy Huddleston, daughter.

'I don't want anyone else to get it. I don't want them to take hormones. I don't want them to go through what I went through,' said Gayle.

The law firm that Gayle is using-- Kenneth B. Moll and Associates-- says it has received many calls from women since last week's news. They are taking women's names to put them on their list, if and when they get class action status for their lawsuit. Call the firm at 312-558-6444

More info about the lawsuit:

We reported that a suit is being filed by KENNETH B. MOLL AND ASSOCIATES against WYETH INC. Kenneth B. Moll & Associates, Ltd.

Three First National Plaza
50th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Telephone: 312.558.6444
Facsimile: 312.558.1112
Toll Free: 888.882.3453
Email: lawyers@kbmoll.com
URL: www.kbmoll.com

The suit claims the company knew the drug PREMPRO put a woman's health at risk. Kenneth B. Moll says 'The company from the very beginning knew there was a possible risk for breast cancer but failed to conduct studies.'

The suit was filed on behalf of three women, two of whom claim they developed breast cancer as a result of taking Prempro, and had to undergo mastectomies.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages to the victims in three ways. Compensation for every woman that suffers personal injury or death, a medical monitoring fund that would provide money for women who have taken Prempro to be tested for various health concerns, and reimbursement for all women who took Prempro for payment of the drug.