Dr. Sidney Wolfe on Public Citizen's Early Warnings
on Hormone Replacement Therapy

Dr. Sidney Wolfe

Two different angles of attack will keep consumers healthier, Wolfe believes. The first is forcing the government, through petitions, letters, lawsuits and reports, to perform its regulatory duties. Wolfe’s second tactic is to make consumers experts on their own health care, armed with information about their doctors, their prescriptions, their insurance companies and their rights.

Podcast Transcript

I'm Dr. Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen. In a best-selling 1966 book, Feminine Forever, Dr. Robert Wilson argued that if women started using estrogens at the time of menopause they could stay young, attractive and healthy. The promotion of this book, funded by Wyeth-Ayerst,  manufacturer of the estrogen Premarin, resulted in greatly increased use of this drug.

By then, however, much research was already pointing to the increased risk of breast cancer in women using these drugs. 

Since the 1970’s, Public Citizen has pushed for stronger warnings about estrogens and breast cancer and, in 1991 we stated that “Female Replacement hormones may someday be remembered as the most recklessly prescribed and dangerous drugs of the [20th] century.” In 2002, a large study, the Women’s Health Initiative, was stopped because there was an increase in invasive breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in women using menopausal estrogens. Now comes evidence that the epidemic of estrogen-caused breast cancer is diminishing with the decreased use of these drugs. For more information about this and other dangerous drugs, go to WorstPills.org.


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