Class Action News: August 2014
Expert medical evidence supports allegations that Wyeth Premplus (HRT) caused breast cancer
Three prominent Canadian medical experts in the field of breast cancer have provided expert reports on the causal correlation between the use of Premplus, known as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and the development of breast cancer in women. Dr. Prithwish De, the top epidemiologist at the Canadian Cancer Society, Dr. Kathleen Pritchard, Director of Medical Oncology at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Center in Toronto and Dr. Stephen Wood, Obstetrician Gynecologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary, all concur that there is mounting evidence that HRT caused breast cancer in thousands of Canadian women.
As reported in the Toronto Star on August 11, 2014, “The body of evidence to date overwhelmingly points to a causal connection between the use of Premplus and the development of invasive breast cancer in women,” Prithwish De wrote in a report to be filed in a Canadian class-action lawsuit against drug manufacturer Wyeth Canada, now owned by Pfizer.
De reviewed many studies conducted on women who used Wyeth HRT products, including the extensive long-term randomized controlled trial study by the US National Institutes of Health. According to De, this type of study is the gold standard of clinical drug testing.
HRT class action set to go to court
The Canadian class action was filed by Klein Lawyers, on behalf of Dianna Stanway, a 68-year-old woman from Sechelt, BC. The key allegations behind Stanway’s lawsuit state that Wyeth failed to conduct proper drug safety testing and they suppressed study results that indicated significant health risks associated with the drug and long-term use was promoted when the drug Wyeth knew that serious risks outweighed their limited benefits.
In support of Diane Stanways’ lawsuit, Klein Lawyers has hired three experts to corroborate Ms. Stanway’s allegations. All three experts concur that the studies show results that would support the claims of the plaintiffs.
A trial date has been set for October 2014 and the deadline to join the lawsuit for women who live outside British Columbia is Monday, August 25, 2014. Women outside British Columbia who wish to join this lawsuit must sign an Opt-In Form. The opt-in form must be returned to Klein Lawyers before the deadline. Women who live in British Columbia do not need to do anything to participate. They are automatically included in the lawsuit, although they are encouraged to contact us for more information.
In pursuit of your breast health
By Michèle Pankratz
With increasing demands on our over-stressed healthcare system and more information and resources available, growing numbers of us are taking a proactive, preventive approach to our own health.
One often-overlooked aspect of self-care is optimizing our breast health. According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), breast cancer will affect one in nine women in the course of their lives, along with a smaller proportion of men. The good news, says the CBCF, is that research shows that the way we live plays a significant role in our breast health and that “living well” through everyday choices helps reduce our risk of developing serious breast health issues.
There are several concrete steps we can take to optimize our breast health:
Be breast aware:
Know what a healthy breast is and how your breasts normally look and feel, so you’ll notice any changes and can address your concerns early on with your healthcare provider. Breast awareness can also include regular breast self-examinations and participation in a screening mammography program.
Know and learn more about breast health risk factors:
Breast cancer research conclusively links the likelihood of developing breast cancer to several risk factors. Some risk factors are modifiable, which means you can proactively choose to live your everyday life in ways that reduce your risk. Other factors are non-modifiable–you can’t change these aspects, but learning more about them can help you make informed choices about how to best protect your breast health.
Encouragingly, there are a number of key lifestyle choices or changes you can make to live well and optimize your breast health:
- Maintain a healthy body weight and body-fat composition
- Eat a balanced, nutrient-dense diet
- Engage in regular, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
- Quit smoking–or better yet, don’t start
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Reduce stress, particularly chronic stress, through stress-reduction, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques
- Limit your exposure to medical radiation such as x-rays
- Understand the role hormones (particularly synthetic hormones and combined estrogen-progesterone treatments)–including birth-control pills, in-vitro fertilization treatment, and hormone therapy (HT) to relieve menopause symptoms–play in breast health. The CBCF states that, “conclusive research has linked the use of combined [estrogen-progesterone] hormone replacement therapy to a moderate increase in the risk of breast cancer.”
- Breast cancer risk factors you can’t change in yourself include:
- Gender and age: being a woman and a woman over 50 increases your risks, although breast cancer in women under 50 tends to be more aggressive.
- Personal cancer history: your risk increases if you’ve previously had breast cancer or a childhood cancer.
- Family cancer history and genetics: you may be at increased risk if you have close family members who have had breast cancer or you have a mutation of the particular genes known to protect against breast cancer.
- Early menstruation / late menopause: there’s a low increase in risk if you started your first period before age 12 or menopause later than 55 due to the body’s longer exposure to estrogen.
- Breast density: women with dense breasts—less fat, more glandular and connective tissue—are at increased risk.
- Breast conditions: some benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions are associated with a greater breast cancer risk.
Learn more about breast health today and take self-directed action, so you can improve your overall best health in the process.
Did you or someone you know suffer breast cancer after taking Premarin with Progestin or PremPlus?
Learn more about this important class action suit by calling the Klein Lawyers office at 604.714.6159. Don’t delay in taking action on behalf of your health and well-being.
Breast health and hormone therapy (HT):
Klein Lawyers named Appellate Law Firm of the Year in Canada for 2014
Over recent months Global Law Experts conducted its extensive nomination and research process for the 2014 Global Law Experts, Practice Area Awards. Klein Lawyers has been awarded the Appellate Law Firm of the Year in Canada – 2014.
David Klein, Managing Partner, reports, “The firm appreciates the recognition and the expression of confidence from GLE and the nomination process. We have a top-notch group of lawyers, and we continually advocate for the rights of Canadians in our class action and personal injury practice.”
Law firms were judged on client testimonials, key cases from the past 12 months, legal rankings, overall reputation, publication contributions, speaking engagements and the performance and standing of the team’s individual lawyers. GLE is the world’s leading online resource for locating specialist legal advisers for the services required by businesses, investors and individuals.
Whirlpool dishwashers still on fire
Even though a class action lawsuit was filed in Canada in 2013 and as early as 2011 in the US against dishwasher manufacturer Whirlpool, the dishwashers are still catching on fire because of a faulty circuit panel.
In June 2014, a Fresno, California family experienced the fright that many other Americans and Canadians have had, when their Kenmore dishwasher caught fire. CBS 47 Eyewitness News investigated and found that thousands have reported this issue but Whirlpool has still refused to issue a recall for the defective circuit board.
The consumer watchdog group has recorded over 1000 complaints about the alleged faulty circuit panel that can overheat and catch fire on Whirlpool, Kitchen Aid, Sears Kenmore and Maytag branded dishwashers. If you or someone you know has a dishwasher from Whirlpool, the advice of other plaintiffs and consumer advocacy groups is to report your appliance incident to both watchdog groups and in Canada to Health Canada on their toll free hotline: 1-866-662-0666. Your actions and voice could save lives, as the manufacturers and distributors need to take responsibility for the defective products by recalling the affected products or sending safety notices to consumers.
Klein Lawyers advises that if you have a Whirlpool dishwasher, take proactive safety measures and do not run your dishwasher unsupervised. Run the cycle when you’re at home and if a problem occurs, flip the breaker switch and have a portable fire extinguisher on hand.
If you have experienced a smoke or fire incident with your dishwasher, call Klein Lawyers at 604-874-7171 or complete a Whirlpool Dishwasher Form.