premarin.jpg Consumers and third party payors in California who paid for Premarin, used to relieve the symptoms associated with menopause and to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, may be eligible to receive payments from a $5.2 million settlement fund. For more details, go to

Claims must be filed by October 1, 2007. Objections to the settlement must be filed by August 15, 2007.

Trivia tidbit: Premarin is made from the urine of pregnant horses — Premarin = PREgnant MARes uRINe.

Excerpted from

A Proposed Settlement has been reached in a class action, Elizabeth Blevins, et al. v. Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Inc., et al., Case No. 324380, filed in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco.

The Superior Court of the State of California for the County of San Francisco entered an Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Settlement, Directing Notice to the Class, and Scheduling Fairness Hearing. The Court has scheduled a Fairness Hearing on final settlement approval on September 10, 2007.

Description of the Lawsuit Premarin® is a conjugated estrogens product prescribed by doctors to relieve the symptoms associated with menopause and to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Plaintiff alleges that the manufactures Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (formerly Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Inc.) and Wyeth (formerly American Home Products Corporation) violated California’s antitrust and unfair competition laws by engaging in anti-competitive and exclusionary conduct that blocked consumer access to Cenestin®, which was an alternative to Premarin®. Plaintiff does not challenge the safety or effectiveness of Premarin®.

The lawsuit claims that the Defendants violated California antitrust, unfair competition, unfair trade practices, and unjust enrichment laws by entering into exclusive rebate contracts with managed care organizations such as HMOs, insurance companies, and pharmacy benefit managers (“Third-Party Payors”). Defendants deny that they committed any violation of law or any wrongdoing or that they have any liability with respect to Plaintiff or the Class. However, the parties have agreed to this Proposed Settlement to avoid the risks and expense of continuing the case.

The Class includes all persons or entities who purchased or reimbursed others for the purchase of Premarin® from March 24, 1999 through April 3, 2007 in California for consumption by themselves, family members or covered individuals, and not for resale.

The Defendants have agreed to pay $5.2 million to settle this case. After deductions of Court-approved costs and expenses, the remaining amount will be divided between consumers and Third-Party Payors in the Class, subject to available funds based on the actual claims received.

“Class Member” Description The proposed “Class” includes:

All persons or entities who, during the period from March 24, 1999 to April 3, 2007, purchased, paid for, or reimbursed for Premarin® purchased in the State of California for consumption by themselves, family members or covered individuals (including members, beneficiaries, employees and insureds) and who suffered economic loss thereby as a result of allegedly anticompetitive conduct by Defendants.

Excluded from the Class are Defendants and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates, all governmental entities, and all persons or entities that purchased Premarin®: (i) for purposes of resale, or (ii) directly from any of the Defendants. The Class also excludes those Class Members who have properly opted out of the Class.