Shortly before the trial was set to begin this morning, the drugmaker agreed to end the Deutsch case by making an undisclosed payment. The case “has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties. The terms of the resolution and events leading up to it are confidential and sealed, so we won’t be able to provide any further comment on this case,” according to an e-mail from Wyeth spokesman Chris Garland.
Ellen Deutsch, who took the hormone replacement therapy – and its predecessor, Premarin – for a total of seven years and was eventually diagnosed with breast cancer. Deutsch, who lives in Livingston, NJ, a New York suburb, was 55 at the time she was diagnosed.
As with the handful of previous cases, which have resulted in a mixed bag for Wyeth, Deutsch’s lawyers charged that the drugmaker spent decades actively promoting hormone replacement therapy as a desirable, life-long menopausal treatment, but failed to sufficiently study the medcation and, later, backpedaled on its claims before a government-funded study linked the drugs to cancer and heart risks.
Previous Prempro cases took place in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia and federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas.