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Published on 15 October 2007

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Jury cuts £49m from damages award against Wyeth

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A jury has cut £49m from a judgement against drug firm Wyeth after it conceded a previous award was improper.

In a case relating to the firm’s hormone replacement therapy  (HRT) drugs, Judge Robert Perry instructed the jury in Nevada, USA, to reconsider a £66m compensatory award after questions were raised about whether the judgement in the case included punitive damages.

The jurors finally awarded £17m to three Nevada women for past and future medical expenses, as well as physical and emotional pain and suffering.

The women had all claimed the company’s HRT drugs caused their breast cancer.

The judgement remains the largest award to date against the company, which faces about 5,300 similar lawsuits across the USA in state and federal courts.

All involve the drugs Premarin®, an oestrogen replacement, and Prempro®, a combination of oestrogen and progestin. The drugs are prescribed to women to ease symptoms of the menopause.

During the trial, Wyeth lawyers had argued that the drugs were safe and approved by the FDA. They also said information about possible risks is included with every prescription.

They argued that the women had other risk factors, making it impossible to link their cancer to the HRT drugs.

Copyright © PA Business 2007

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