Arkansas Judge to Hear First of 4,500 Challenges to Hormone Replacement Therapy

AUGUST 21, 2006 - Posted at 3:58 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Jury selection has been delayed in federal court at Little Rock in the first trial of 4,500 lawsuits filed nationwide that challenge Prempro, a hormone replacement therapy for women.  Some women claim it causes breast cancer.

Jury selection was to begin today, but instead lawyers were in court arguing over which evidence should be allowed in the trial.  Jury selection is now scheduled to start tomorrow.

Linda Reeves of Benton filed the suit against drug maker Wyeth, arguing that she developed breast cancer after taking Prempro for eight years.  Prempro is a widely-prescribed estrogen-progestin combination used to treat premenopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes.

Plaintiffs say Wyeth was more worried about money than patient safety while developing the drug.  But the drug company argued to the judge today that it wants jurors to see its requests to the Food and Drug Administration for a study about the effects of combining estrogen and progestin.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)