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Judge Orders DES Manufacturers To Compensate Breast Cancer Victims


This is a settlement for the Diethylstilbestrol lawsuit.

Boston, MA: In a precedent-setting ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler has this week ordered 14 pharmaceutical companies to negotiate compensation for 53 women who brought a class action lawsuit against them over allegations their breast cancer was caused by their mothers' use of an anti-miscarriage drug, taken decades ago, called Diethylstilbestrol also called Stilboestrol or DES.

DES was a synthetic hormone given to six million women worldwide between the 1940s and the early 1970s to prevent miscarriage. The drug was taken off the market when studies showed serious Diethylstilbestrol side effects, including a link between DES and vaginal cancer, in women exposed to the medication while in the womb and breast cancer.

Bowler's decision, which will have far reaching consequences, came following expert testimony from the scientific community including the Chair of Harvard's Department of Epidemiology. The testimony included facts supporting the women's claims that prenatal exposure to DES substantially increased risk for breast cancer among "DES Daughters" over the age of 40. The data came from information collected by the National Cancer Institute DES Follow-Up Study, and shows that DES daughters over the age of 40 are roughly twice as likely to develop breast cancer as their counterparts who were not exposed to the drug in-utero.

Manufacturers of DES include Eli Lilly and Company and E. R. Squibbs & Sons, the predecessor to Bristol-Myers Squibb. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control an estimated 10 million women in the United States have been exposed to DES – including DES mothers, DES daughters, DES sons and DES grandchildren. Attorney's representing the plaintiffs expect there may be many more women affected by DES who will come forward as a result of this ruling.

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Published on Feb-9-12

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Marla Sweaney
on
I am a diagnosed DES daughter born in 1959. I have suffered continuous reproductive abnormalities including cancers and ultimately a complete hysterectomy. I have 2 sons, one who is infertile and one with Hypospadious. I have read articles stating there may be 3rd generation complications. Both my sons fit into the 3rd generation category. Due we have a case?

Posted by
Ellen Delosh
on
I was diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma 3 years ago and I know it was because I took DES in the 1950's. I would love to talk to a lawyer and get some legal information. I have spoken to the lymphoma society and there were studies done on rats who were given DES and received B-Cell Lymphoma. My daughter has had major infertility issues as well. I would just like some more info on previous cases and what has been done. Thank you.

Posted by
Donna McGowan
on
Mother took des while pregnant with me. I was born with a brain tumor.

Posted by
Neena
on
What were the residual effects of DES on the
woman it was given to for miscarriage prevention?
Did DES remain in her body and increase her risk
of developing breast cancer?
I await your reply.
Thank you

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