A Nevada jury has tacked on an additional $99 million in punitive damages against the Wyeth pharmaceutical company after ruling in favor of three women who argued that the drug maker's hormone replacement therapy caused their breast cancer. That amount, added to compensatory damages determined last week, makes the total finding against the drug manufacturer $134.1 million.
Wyeth faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits concerning HRT prescribed to ease symptoms of menopause. Wyeth officials claim they informed doctors and patients of the increased risk of breast cancer posed by the treatment. The drugs, Premarin and Prempro, remain available in the US. The company plans to appeal.