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Published on 10 March 2008

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Firms to pay $27m in hormone suit

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A US jury has ordered pharmaceutical firms Wyeth and Upjohn to pay more than $27m to a woman from Arkansas who developed breast cancer after taking hormone replacement therapy drugs.

The federal court jury ruled that Donna Scroggin, who sued the companies in 2004, should receive $19.3m from Wyeth and $7.7m from Upjohn in punitive damages.

Last month jurors ruled in Ms Scroggin’s favour and said that Wyeth inadequately warned her that its drugs Premarin and Prempro carried an increased risk of breast cancer. The lawsuit also named Upjohn, which manufactures another drug, Provera.

At the same time the jury ruled that she should also receive $2.75m in compensatory damages.

Ms Scroggin’s attorney Zoe Littlepage said: “This is a significant victory for all the women of Arkansas and all around this country because this jury said that the suffering of the grandmothers of this country has real value.”

Wyeth has said that it plans to launch an appeal against the ruling.

Lyn Pruitt, an attorney for Wyeth, said: “There is no basis in fact or law for this award or for the earlier compensatory damage award. We are confident in our position on appeal.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

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