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August 2002 issue Pharmacy Today magazine


Pharmaceutical company Wyeth is taking action following a well-publicised Hormone Replacement Therapy study.

Preliminary results from a US Women's Health Initiative study released last month, found that older women without menopausal symptoms taking combined HRT ran a greater risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. The study was discontinued.

Wyeth provided HRT for the US trial, and has already written to New Zealand doctors outlining the findings. The company supplies Premia, Menoprem and Prempak-C in New Zealand.

Wyeth director of corporate affairs, Dr Rachel David says the company is doing its best to inform the public of the study's results.

"We believe our core role is informing women of the risks, so they can make the best decision."

The company will continue to provide pharmacists and doctors with comprehensive information, she says.

Pharmaceutical Society manager of pharmacy practice and legislation, Euan Galloway says the society is making sure the profession is informed, by having the Ministry of Health's press release on their website. But he says the study is "a storm in a teacup".

Ministry spokesperson, Dr Stewart Jessamine says the study contains a number of potential flaws, which limit the weight that can be given to the findings.

"However, it is further evidence that prolonged use of any form of HRT should only take place on the basis of a careful assessment. Doctors should certainly be discussing with patients the risks and benefits, as set out in the NZ Guidelines for HRT prescribing."


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