August 22, 1994 |
What would you do if your doctor told you to swallow horse urine every day for the rest of your life? You'd refer him to that nice place where they took Aunt Nellie when she started talking to space aliens, right? But what if your doctor handed you a bottle of yellow pills called "Premarin," manufactured by Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals, and told you they'd "cure" menopause? If you're like 8 million other women, you'd take them. Until one day you discover what's really in them. Then you find out there are safe, effective alternatives.
June 22, 1997 |
It's not hard to imagine why officials at Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories were alarmed when, in the fall of 1991, they were warned that an employee might be trying to peddle the formula of the company's biggest-selling product. Premarin, a hormone-replacement drug for menopausal women, was the most prescribed medicine in the nation, earning the Delaware County company and its parent, American Home Products Corp., hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Wyeth had been making Premarin since 1942 and in all that time, no competitor had ever successfully copied it. And now here was the president of a Cherry Hill generic-drug firm, warning that a Wyeth projects manager who was familiar with the formula for Premarin had come to his office to discuss starting his own generic-drug business.
September 5, 1996 |
Two years ago, the bodily fluid they used was real. Yesterday, their liquid of choice was artificial food coloring. A gallon of fake blood was splashed on a man wearing a horse costume, while a man in a butcher's outfit pretended to slash him with a plastic knife, in a skit put on by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The roadside drama was played out in front of Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories' headquarters on Lancaster Avenue. It was part of PETA's protest against the production of Premarin, a widely prescribed drug used by an estimated eight million women to replace estrogen after menopause.
May 6, 1997 |
In a ruling that could have broad implications for the pharmaceutical industry and patients, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday rejected a generic version of the menopause medicine Premarin, the nation's most prescribed drug. The decision was the long-awaited finale to a fierce political and scientific battle that pitted women's activists and medical groups against animal-rights organizations and proponents of cheaper medicines. Based on current knowledge, the FDA said, there was "no way to assure" that generic copies would work as well as the name-brand product, made by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories of St. Davids.
January 20, 1997 |
They don't look like such a big deal, these little pills in maroon, green, white, purple and gold. But, oh, the war they've spawned - over medicine, money, politics and power. The main combatants are two pharmaceutical companies, one gargantuan and one small, each with its own version of the pill. Lined up behind the big company are a host of women's groups, medical organizations, and female members of Congress. On the other side are proponents of cheaper drugs, animal-rights activists, and several male members of Congress.
October 12, 2005 |
Falling sales of the hormone-replacement drug Premarin will force Wyeth Pharmaceuticals to start closing a New York manufacturing plant this year, with total shutdown set for late 2008, the company said yesterday. The company's Collegeville-based division said about 1,200 employees at the Rouses Point facility would be entitled to seek transfers to other Wyeth facilities worldwide over the next three years. Premarin manufacturing will be phased out and consolidated in Newbridge, Ireland.
February 6, 1997 |
Protesters face police while dumping horse manure outside drugmaker Wyeth-Ayerst's labs on Lancaster Avenue in Radnor. One member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was cited as the group protested the company's use of horse urine in the manufacture of Premarin, a hormone-replacement drug for women. The group contends the horses are mistreated, which the company denies.
April 30, 1990 |
Horse urine never has been so valuable to Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. It's the basis for a nearly 50-year-old female-hormone supplement, Premarin, that has long been used by women in menopause. But this once-sleepy drug has undergone a rebirth in recent years in response to the aging of the population, wider uses, better acceptance and the fact that there are few rivals. Indeed, one financial analyst, James Keeney of Mabon Nugent & Co., estimated that in the first three months of 1990, the drug increased its sales by about 50 percent to more than $100 million.
June 16, 1990 |
In a decision that could dramatically increase the number of women who take estrogen-replacement drugs after menopause, a Food and Drug Administration panel voted yesterday that there is enough evidence to show that the widely- used estrogen drug Premarin lowers the risk of heart disease in its users. The vote, which marked the first time the FDA has formally acknowledged estrogen's long-debated heart benefits, was taken at the request of the Wyeth- Ayerst Laboratories drug company of Radnor.
January 23, 2004 |
Wyeth, maker of Centrum vitamins and Advil pain medicine, said yesterday that its fourth-quarter profit fell 79 percent compared with a year ago, when earnings were boosted by a onetime gain. The drugmaker, which employs 4,900 in Upper Providence, Montgomery County, said earnings in the fourth quarter were hampered by charges related to repaying debt and writing down the value of assets, and costs of restructuring manufacturing operations. Wyeth, based in Madison, N.J., said net income fell to $335.