Wyeth, Premarin, TV commercial warning

marys1000December 13, 2006

Lately I've noticed a very professional medical sounding commercial basically just touting a website to get more info about menopause. At first, I guess because it just seemed to be pushing - get more information - I thought it was a government or general Medical Association commercial. Then I noticed that for a very short blip of a second a fade in of the corporation Wyeth's logo appears and fades out in the lower right hand corner.

So basically WYETH, a huge pharmaceutical company is luring women into its website so it can tell woman they need to use Hormone Replacement drugs - preferably I'm sure theirs. Called Premarin.

Premarin, the active ingrediant of which is pregnant horse Mare's urine. In order to get that urine there are very large "Mare's Urine" collection farms with tons of pregnant mare's in stalls. Hooked up to rubber cups night and day. They have to stay pregnant to have the estrogen in the urine. So there is an ongoing crop of colts. Mare's no long able to tolerate the conditions and the colts usually go to slaughter etc. etc. Huge huge money making business.


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Not that unusual. I have seen like a billion commercials like that lately. Alot are for depression, diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis.
Also the new cervical cancer vaccination. They have alot of commercials out like that for that new vaccine.

Premarin is a very old medication. It is not new.
Mar= Mare
in = urin.

It isn't a big secret where they get it from!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 3:58PM
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Plenty of meds and other products are not just extracted from animals, but worse, tested on them. This is just another example of one. Premarin has come under fire in the past and many women are NOT using hormone replacement therapy because of the risk of breast cancer associated with the use of same.

You might notice all of the drug commercials nowadays are by the drug manufacturer, ED, cholesterol, depression. It is just a sign of the times. People see the drug commercial and then go to their physician and ask for it by name.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 3:59PM
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Oh ya, since this is the pet debate forum I assume you want to debate that it is made from horses.
I agree, that is yucky. A lot of medical drugs come from sources I think are gross or wrong. The flu vaccine is made from fertilized chicken eggs.
Luckily due to the Women's Health Initiative, HRT (including premarin) was found to increase the chance of stroke in women and not provide many benefits so many women decided to stop taking it.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 4:04PM
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Mares produce foals, not only colts...

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 4:58PM
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Well first I think its terrible and unethical to suck people into thinking they are getting govt sanctioned OBJECTIVE advice when its not.
two: There are already studies, or reinterpretations of the findings on HRT, saying if you start it very early and keep on using all the way through it's not as dangerous as starting in the middle of menopause when symptoms get bad yada yada, yada yada.
Scryn - I don't know why you think the study has gotten many women to stop taking it. I would say a few, not many.
and third: Its old but no woman I've ever talked to who was taking ever knew where it came from. I recently had one woman reply to my question "do you know where it comes from?" "NO and it sound bad and so don't tell me I don't want to know its the only thing that works well". Well actually my sister did but of course she kept taking it even though she likes animals.
So there you have it. They all tell care as long as they can stay ignorant and tell themselves the world is wonderful, its not inconvenient and not their animals suffering.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 7:29PM
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I have to respectfully disagree with your perception that only a few women have stopped HRT. ALL of the women I know and all of the women who are patients in my gyn's practice are doing natural remedies rather than the Premarin. There are many natural forms of treatment available to those who suffer menopausal symptoms (mild to moderate) that are successfully treated without the HRT. The Premarin is given only in the most severe cases of symptoms. If you were one of those women, I think you may feel differently.

I also question, how does taking urine from a horse hurt the horse? You state that they keep the mare's pregnant to harvest the urine for estrogen. Well, they can only keep them pregnant for as long as the pregnancy lasts, correct? It is not as if they are unnaturally keeping them pregnant long after they would have given birth? I am sure there are standards of care that have to be exercised with regard to the care and treatment of these horses. There are FDA laws that cover these sorts of practices where animals are used for harvesting medicine. Sometimes animals are sacrificed for the sake of science. It is just the way it is done.

Also, all of the drug companies can now legally advertise their drugs as they see fit. What they can't do is make statements that are not true. I don't know why you think people are thinking the government is sanctioning these commercials and/or their drugs. That is your interpretation of it. They are just that, commercials. I think you need to give the general public a little credit. I have seen the commercial you are referring to, and no where in that commercial is the governmental sanction you speak of even referred to.

I will tell you that if I needed to take it, I would take it regardless of how it was harvested.

The same argument can be made with regard to how our food is produced in this country, i.e.; the antibiotics given to cows and other animals that are going to produce dairy products as well as meat products that are creating antibiotic immunities in humans. We could go round and round on treatment of animals. It won't make any difference how much we debate it. It is what it is.
Just my $.02

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 8:13PM
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Labmomma, that has been my experience, that most women I know stopped taking HRT when they found it did not help them too much and may hurt them more. This is also seen when looking at Wyeth stocks. Their stocks dropped a HUGE amount after the findings of the WHI came out. Premarin makes alot of money (or used to) and when the information came out that it wasn't good to take HRT stock buyers knew that wyeth would be losing a HUGE amount of income, and they were right!

The problem with the pregnant mare thing is that usually the mares have a point of time that they are not pregnant, to recover. I guess they are being impregnated over and over, without getting to rest in between. So, as a woman, I can't even imagine how tired that poor horse is!

I am still young so I am not thinking of HRT. I do not know how I would feel. If my symptoms are so bad and I can't work and nothing else seems to help..Then I wonder what I would do? I can't predict how I would handle a situation untill I am in it.

I do eat meat though and I think that those animals are most likely treated worse. However I only eat meat because my husband cooks it and gives it to me and I am not going to waste food. I know that seems stupid but I hate cooking!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 8:48AM
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To me the repulsive part is the horrible condition the Mares are kept in. They are bred again and again with no break and kept in filth. There is no standard of care. Do a search if you can stand it.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 9:17AM
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Well, I am in that particular age group that we are talking about, so I would never say never regarding HRT. I want to do natural remedy therapy first, but you don't know (at least I had no idea) what the symptoms are like.

As far as the horses go, yes I feel badly at how they are kept. I feel badly the way chickens are kept, cattle, and all other animals that we utilize in daily life for one thing or another. It is a sad state of affairs, and how did they ever find that pregnant horse urine would help with women and menopausal symptoms???? Go figure.

No, I think I will skip the search. Some things I think I am better off not knowing. I can't imagine they are kept in filth if their urine is being used in a medication, but I am sure you are correct. So sad.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 3:51PM
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Sounds like hormone replacement therapy got some bad press in the evening news re. the link to breast cancer.
Maybe those mares will get a break....

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 12:57PM
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It isn't the being bred over and over that is the worst about the Premarin mares, it is the fact that they have to wear these devices to collect the urine and they have to stand in a stall all day, every day. They are living breathing urine factories. I believe their conditions are much worse than veal calves or factory farmed chickens just much less well known.

Have you seen The Matrix? Where all the people are in the pods hooked up to power The Matrix? I think I have the right movie.

Recently, the number of women using Premarin has dropped significantly so thousands of the PMU mares are going to slaughter, not just their foals.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 10:37PM
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The very REASON that this country allows atrocities like this to occur is because much of the population chooses to stick their head in the sand like an Ostrich...if, instead, we would choose to educate ourselves, there could be an end in sight for so much suffering.

Ignorance prevents us from stopping these situations and it also does not assist us in feverishly searching for alternatives.

It is WRONG to cause another fellow animal to suffer simply to ease our own discomfort. How pathetic is that. Women have survived menopause for centuries without medications or, at the very least, without pregnant mare's urine.

I personally know someone who took the stuff before anyone really knew what it was...the doctors weren't disclosing that information, of course. As soon as she knew, she researched natural alternatives...she found that soy products actually worked better.

So instead of plugging the ears and singing "la, la, la, la, la", maybe we could all actually hear what is wrong and do our small part to fix the problem. So easy.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 8:39AM
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I was aware of the source of premarin when I entered the stage of life where it might become necessary. After a number of years suffering with intense menopause symptoms (not everyone has them, or to the degree I did) a friend suggested reading Suzanne Somers' book, The Sexy Years. She discusses menopause, premarin, and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy which comes from plant based products. I was never tempted to use premarin - the idea was just too distasteful. But after using the bio-idential hormones for 7 months I must say they work like a charm to relieve all the symptons that plague some of us, and have not been proven to carry the risk of stroke or breast cancer that premarin does. Now, granted, there haven't been as extensive studies on this type of hormone replacement therapy like there have been on premarin, but if one is suffering and considering premarin anyway, which is proven to have these adverse side effects, bio-identical hrt is definitely worth looking into.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 10:13AM
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Very well said Webkat!

There's a saying "When we know better, we do better." I learned a few years ago that Premarin came from pee farms and was appalled to learn exactly what they are. When my time comes, I will go the natural route for sure.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 10:28AM
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It really isn't a dr's job to tell you were a drug comes from. That is your job! A dr's job is to tell you what may work for you and to tell you the risks. That is all.

Education is the key and with educating yourself you will find that there are many things you can do to help yourself.

However if people accept eating veal, I am sure they will find Premarin OK. As long as they don't bother ME about it, that is their decision and they have to live with it.

There are risks with everything, including soy. Even "natural" things have risks. that is important to remember.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 4:51PM
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Scryn...this is exactly what I am talking about....

It really isn't a dr's job to tell you were a drug comes from. That is your job! A dr's job is to tell you what may work for you and to tell you the risks.

The intention in my post referred to the fact that the Dr's get a nice little kickback from the pharms for pushing their product. Now, do you really think they wanted it to get out that this product was created with cruelty to animal methods?

Get serious....

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 6:11PM
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I have been to p line farms, well, just one of them. All of the mares were registered Belgians and we bought colts from them(cheaper than fillies)to grow out and train for resale. The place didnt look like it was abusing any horses. some were on pasture, none were very heavy I will say but they all seemed healthy and content.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 7:28PM
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I work in a hospital and the dr's that I know DO NOT get money for prescribing certain drugs. My brother is also a dr.
In addition, Wyeth is the only company that refuses to provide trips and other things that are not related to drug education for dr's. Say Merck had a new drug out and they wanted to "educate" dr's on it? They would invite them on a 2 week vacation in the bahamas to "learn" about the drug. Now, Wyeth is actually the only company that I know of that has a strict policy that they will NOT do this. Dr's do not get perks (well, legally, I suppose some dr's may steal from medicare and stuff) for prescribing YOU drugs. They may get perks for learning about a new drug, however this isn't linked to prescribing the drug.
If you don't think your dr is prescribing drugs that are good for you then switch. A good dr will know when to say "no, there is nothing that i can really prescribe for this"
It is sad that there is this outstanding thought that dr's only prescribe certain drugs for money.
The real issue is that there are so many drugs that if you asked your dr where premarin actually came from he may not know. They can't memorize every drug and what that drug does. They have a handbook for that and a PDA.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 8:56AM
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From what I've heard, doctors are so very busy that much of what they know re. drugs comes from the sales reps.
Women need to take responsibility for their health-men, too.
Ethical issues also include the source of fetal cell lines used in the rubella and chicken pox vaccines currently in use.
If the source of a medication is troublesome to you, do some research and make the results known-as this poster did.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 9:50AM
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I am having a bit of trouble with the "I work in a hospital and the dr's that I know DO NOT get money for prescribing certain drugs. My brother is also a dr." "Dr's do not get perks (well, legally, I suppose some dr's may steal from medicare and stuff) for prescribing YOU drugs. They may get perks for learning about a new drug, however this isn't linked to prescribing the drug."

I know for a FACT that doctors receive trips to tropic climates and other destinations that are definitely not associated with any training sessions in return for prescribing a certain medications. They receive many other perks as well. Cars, all sorts of "gifts" in return for their allegiance to certain drug companies. Don't believe they don't.

I was just in an office the other day where a huge catered holiday luncheon was being given to the entire practice by a drug rep. I watched tray after tray come in from a very expensive local caterer. It is a disgrace, but is happening where I live, and I know that certain meds are written more often than others because of the "perks" to the doctor for writing them.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 3:59PM
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Then there are the basketball game tickets, theater tickets, expensive dinners, etc...You bet that doctors receive perks from drug reps.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 12:19AM
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Quite a while back, I was in to see a doctor for shoulder pain - this was before it came out that Viox (sp?) caused heart disease. I overheard the Dr., who was in the hallway outside my room, say to the nurse, "Well, yesterday we made the viox salesman happy, today lets make the Celebrex salesman happy." He then proceded to bring me some Celebrex samples and write me a script for Celebrex. I really wish I had called him on that and just walked out right then and there.

However, I agree that it's up to us to do the research and ask questions. Premarin, veal, eggs, Petit fois gras, big breasted Thanksgiving turkeys...what we do for comfort and fun these days. And yes, I am of that age that I've started peri-menopause, and am quickly approaching menopause. So far I've had a few periods of hot flashes, but didn't find them so bad that I felt I needed to take something. Maybe that will change. I truely believe that the more medications we take, the sicker we get, so I hope to not take anything for the discomfort of menopause. After all, menopause is not a life threatening disease, but a natural process. My co-worker went through instant menopause due to a hysterectomy. She found that when she drank diet cokes, her hot flashes got worse. She figured out it was probably the aspertame causing the problems. She quit drinking diet cokes, and the hot flashes subsided almost completely. So, I plan to watch my diet, and observe what I'm doing and have been eating and drinking whenever I feel sypmtoms of menopause.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 1:22PM
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When human women are pregnant, every time they go to the Dr. they have to pee in a cup. Why don't they take whatever's left over after the testing and send it to the pharm. companies to use to make hormones? Wouldn't that be more natural than Mare's urine?


    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 1:25PM
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I don't think human urine is at all like mare urine.

Aside from the differences, each physician would have to get a release from each pregnant patient to use that person's urine.

Then the chance of taking a urine from someone with a medical condition that is yet undiagnosed. A whole host of difficulties would arise if that were done. Each sample would have to be stored separately and tested prior to use. How would each office store the urine, who would collect and process the urine? Much more cost prohibitive than using mare urine. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your point of view) people can talk, make decisions about the use of their bodily fluids, etc.

These mares are kept in places owned and guildelines are set by the drug companies that manufacture the meds. There is also quality control that couldn't be exercised properly if taking human urine.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 3:47PM
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Labmomma, I am sorry, you are wrong.
buyorsell, I didn't say that dr's don't get perks from drug companies. I said they dont' get perks from giving certain prescriptions.
drug companies can not legally give dr's something for prescribing drugs. They CAN and DO give them lunches and trips so that the dr can hear about their drugs. However they DO NOT get perks for prescribing a certain drug. They get these perks regardless of the drugs they sell. The drug reps come here EVERY week and give free lunches regardless of the prescriptions given out. They do not count how many of a specific drug goes out. Not only that, how WOULD the drug companies know what script a dr wrote you??
Sally, You should have said something. you should have asked "is celebrex the right drug for me?" if the dr said yes, then you should have taken the free samples and tried it. Drug reps do give dr's free samples. You do not have to take those samples. you can ask for a different drug. I used to give back samples from my dr, because I have insurance and would get drugs for free. I wanted him to give samples to people whom couldn't maybe afford the drugs.

The protein they are extracting can be extracted from humans also. However, much of the urine is used for testing and to make a lot of drugs you sure would need alot of people urine ! Also, ya, testing is an issue. The red cross can't even keep up with blood, I can't imagine some company testing all the urine.
flu vaccine is produced in chicken eggs. Alot of vaccine/drugs used animals or animal products. I am not sure if that would stop me from taking or not taking drugs. Anyways, it is your body and you have control over what you do, so if you don't agree with how a drug is made, don't use it. It is all about you educating yourself, you can't blame someone for not pointing something out. You only have yourself to blame.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 4:41PM
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