Archive for Saturday, April 22, 2006

Drug maker targets tailor-made hormones

April 22, 2006

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— Thousands of women who rely on custom-made hormone drugs for relief from menopause symptoms have flooded the government with letters opposing a drug company's effort to get health officials to crack down on pharmacies that sell them.

The drug company Wyeth wants the Food and Drug Administration to rein in the market for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy drugs. The hormones are custom mixed or compounded by specialized pharmacies according to a doctor's prescription.

Wyeth claims that some compounding pharmacies are duping women with products that pose a serious health risk. It wants federal regulators to weigh in with seizures, injunctions and warning letters.

Many women turned to the estrogen, progesterone and testosterone products sold by compounding pharmacies after a 2002 study found replacement hormones made by drug companies like Wyeth raised the risk of heart attacks, breast cancer and strokes.

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