- From LexisNexis® Mealey’s™ Daily Legal News.
Pfizer Inc. said Feb. 28 that it has settled or agreed to settle about 95 percent of its hormone replacement therapy (HRT) product liability cases and about 80 percent of its Chantix injury cases.
The company made the statements in its Form 10-K annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Pfizer said that as of February, it and its affiliated companies have settled, entered into definitive settlements or entered into agreements-in-principle to settle about 95 percent of the HRT cases pending against it. It said it has taken charges of about $ 1.6 billion for the settlements and for verdicts in cases that have gone to trial.
In addition, it said it has taken charges of about $ 100 million to provide for the expected costs of resolving all remaining HRT cases, excluding class actions.
11 HRT Drugs
Pfizer is a defendant in lawsuits alleging injury, primarily breast cancer, from women who used the HRT drugs Premarin, Prempro, Premphase, Aygestin, Cycrin, Activella, Vagifem, Provera, Ogen, Depo-Estrafiol and Estring, which were made by its Wyeth and Pharmacia & Upjohn subsidiaries or by marketing partner Novo Nordisk.
The company said that in November, it began “advanced settlement discussions” with various law firms representing Chantix plaintiffs, as well as persons who asserted Chantix claims but did not file suit. As of February, Pfizer said it has settled or entered into definitive agreement or an agreement-in-principle with about 80 percent of the known Chantix claimants in the United States.
Pfizer said that includes claims filed in the Chantix multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama and in state courts.
Chantix Settlement Charges
The company said it has taken aggregate charges of about $ 273 million in 2012 for Chantix settlements. In addition, it said it took aggregate charges of $ 15 million for the expected costs to resolve all Chantix claims remaining in the MDL and state courts.
HRT drugs are prescribed to treat menopause symptoms. Plaintiffs alleged that long-term use of the drugs increases the risk of breast cancer and that the defendants failed to warn doctors or women of the risk.
Chantix is prescribed for smoking cessation. Plaintiffs allege that its causes suicidal thoughts or actions.