Jeffrey Dach MD
Just when things have calmed down, the drug industry opens a new salvo in its war against bioidentical hormones, perceived as stealing market share from their women’s hormone pill, Prempro, currently in litigation for causing cancer and heart disease.
The attack article appeared in the Huffington Post by Phyllis Greenberger, CEO of Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR), an industry-sponsored mouthpiece that funnels money from the drug industry to doctors for research grants, speaking engagements, meetings and even gala celebrations.
Hot Flash and Cold Cash by Alicia Mundy
A 2003 expose by Alicia Mundy in the Washington Monthly discloses SWHR-industry ties to Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, and Wyeth, companies sitting on the SWHR advisory board.
Serving Your Corporate Master
Apparently, having the drug industry as one’s corporate master requires regurgitation of old marketing propaganda, even if it doesn’t make sense. Even to the most casual observer, this Huffington Post piece is a blatant attempt to discredit bioidentical hormones using fallacies, innuendo, and misinformation. Much of this material was covered in my free book, Bioidentical Hormones 101.
Let’s Take A Look At the Huff Post Article
The author, Phyllis Greenberger M.S.W., states, “Bioidentical hormones are not FDA approved.”
This is blatantly incorrect. There are twenty or so FDA-approved bioidentical-hormone preparations widely available at corner drug stores. Here are a few examples: Vivelle-Dot, Estrace, Climara, Prometrium, Androgel, etc.
The author Phyllis Greenberger states: “Bioidentical hormones made by compounding pharmacies are non-FDA approved.”
This is misleading and deceptive. Compounding pharmacies are regulated at the state level, and do not fall under FDA jurisdiction. So, of course compounding is not FDA approved. No FDA approval is required or even desired. Your local hospital pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy that makes up life-saving medication such as IV antibiotics with no FDA oversight or approval. The FDA-approval process is designed for manufacturer capsules and tablets, and is impractical and unnecessary for compounded medications prepared to order by hand. Are we going to reject IV antibiotics from the hospital pharmacy because these are non-FDA approved compounded medication? Of course not. Compounding is here to stay.
Preventing Endometrial Cancer
The author, Phyllis Greenberger, brings up a 2007 report of three cases of endometrial cancer in women on bioidentical hormones, implying that synthetic PremPro prevents endometrial cancer whereas biodentical hormones do not. This is a blatant lie.
Prempro contains a synthetic progestin that reduces the incidence of endometrial cancer. However, this is not reduced to zero. The author conveniently neglected to mention the 66 cases of endometrial cancer in Prempro-treated women as reported by Dr. Chlebowski. Examining the Women’s Health Initiative data after 13.2 years of follow-up, there were 66 endometrial cancers among women given synthetic PremPro (premarin and medroxyprogesterone).
Another fact conveniently omitted by the article: The bioidentical hormone, progesterone, has been studied and is FDA approved for prevention of endometrial hyperplasia. Preventing endometrial hyperplasia is the best way to prevent endometrial cancer, and a major reason why progesterone is always included in a bioidentical-hormone program.
A “Bad Drug” in Litigation?
One easy way to determine if you are dealing with a “bad drug” is to ask the question: Is this a drug in litigation? For Prempro and synthetic “FDA-approved” women’s hormones, the answer is yes; Prempro has been in litigation for years now. Pfizer, the company that bought Wyeth, has paid almost a billion dollars to settle 6,000 lawsuits by women who claimed the drug caused their breast cancer. This information should have been included, yet was conveniently omitted from the Huffington Post article by Phyllis Greenberger.
A Quote from June 19, 2012 Bloomberg News:
“June 19 (Bloomberg) by Jef Feeley: Pfizer Inc. has paid $896 million to resolve about 60 percent of the cases alleging its menopause drugs caused cancer in women. Pfizer has now settled about 6,000 lawsuits that claim Prempro and other hormone-replacement drugs caused breast cancer, and it has set aside an additional $330 million to resolve the remaining 4,000 suits, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”
Abandoning Synthetic Hormones
The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study was terminated early in 2002, because of increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease in the synthetic-hormone PremPro-treated group. This revelation prompted intelligent women to abandon synthetic hormones. Instead they switched to bioidentical hormones, same as the estrogen and progesterone produced by the ovary. The massive switch to bioidentical hormones produced an immediate decline in breast cancer rates of about nine per cent.(9,10)
Wake up From the Synthetic-Hormone Nightmare
It is time to awaken from the nightmare of synthetic hormones, known for decades to cause cancer and heart disease. The drug industry can spin and deceive us with misinformation and propaganda; however, the truth is clearly seen. Synthetic hormones remain monsters that should be avoided. Sadly, nowhere in this Huffington Post article was this important message stated.
For link to original article with references: click here.