According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Pfizer has settled almost 5,000 lawsuits, or 46 percent of cases, related to allegations that patients developed breast cancer after taking the company’s hormone replacement therapies Prempro, Premarin and Provera, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
The drugmaker also indicated that it has set aside a further $68 million in addition to the $772 million it set aside for the cases in May, at which time Pfizer said it had resolved a third of the lawsuits, or about 3300. “We have recorded a charge of $260 million in the first nine months of 2011 that provides for the minimum expected costs to resolve all the remaining hormone-replacement actions,” Pfizer officials said in the filing. However, the company noted that the reserve for the remaining lawsuits is only “an estimate” and “additional charges may be required.”
Pfizer spokesman Chris Loder remarked that the drugmaker “continues to have a strong record of success in defending these cases.” He added that “while we will continue to look for opportunities to enter into favourable settlements where appropriate, we will also continue to vigorously defend these medicines in litigation.”
So far, the company has lost 10 of the 18 Prempro cases decided by juries since 2006, although some of these verdicts have been thrown out or the awards have been reduced. Pfizer has also resolved some of the verdicts through settlements, including a case earlier this month in which a Philadelphia jury ordered the drugmaker to pay $72.6 million in compensatory damages to three plaintiffs.