PMU is used to produce estrogen and hormone-replacement drugs such as Premarin, PremPro and PremPhase and DUAVEE, a “PremPro-Lite” which contains Premarin. PMU drugs are made by keeping mares constantly pregnant and collecting their estrogen-rich urine.
The 2002 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)—a major landmark study—concluded that the use of PMU drugs increases the risks of breast cancer, heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and dementia. At the time, many doctors in the United States and Canada stopped prescribing PMU drugs once the dangers were fully known. However, Pfizer (and Wyeth before it) saw what was coming down the pike and began moving production abroad where local regulations are more lax, and there are significantly less FDA inspectors available to monitor production. Reportedly, this not only results in signifcantly more horrific conditions for the mares but also less oversight in the manufacturing of an already dangerous drug. There are reportedly 90,000 mares currently on PMU lines in China.
Almost 15 years after the WHI, Pfizer is still making around $1 billion a year from their PMU products – the vast majority of which comes from the U.S. market. Many women, even some doctors, are not aware today of the potential dangers of these drugs. Pfizer continues to settle lawsuits and pay out money to individuals who have gotten sick from PMU drugs and to the families of those who have died. At the same time, they spend huge amounts of money marketing these drugs – in magazines and television ads across the country. Read more under “What You Can Do” below, but we believe that a boycott of all Pfizer’s commercial and pharmaceutical products, wherever possible, is the best way to get action by cutting into Pfizer’s profits. It sends a very strong message!